South Shields sign ex-Newcastle United keeper - and he's ready for a battle for the No 1 shirt

Brendan Pearson.
Brendan Pearson.

Former Newcastle United kid Brendan Pearson has become South Shields' latest new recruit.

And the ex-Magpies' under-23 man admits he's ready for a battle for the No 1 jersey, currently occupied by Liam Connell.

"At a lot of clubs, you always have that No 1 and they don't really have that person to push them," said the 21-year-old.

"It's good that Liam and I will be able to battle it out, and we get on really well too, so it's not a complete rivalry.

"It's good to have that competition."

Pearson made three appearances during pre-season for the Mariners, and kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw at Tadcaster Albion a fortnight ago.

He comes to Mariners Park looking to rebuild his career, having been let go by United in the summer after a long term injury.

Pearson, who was a pro at Newcastle from 2016, returned to playing after an almost two-year absence in January for their under-23 side.

The former Gateshead loanee suffered from patellar tendonitis, but is now back fully fit and aiming to establish himself in the game again.

"This is a massive opportunity for me and I'm delighted to be here," he said.

"I haven't played a lot of football over the last few years, mainly because of injuries, and the opportunity came around to come here in pre-season and I couldn't say no to it.

"If you look at the quality of players and staff we have here, as well as the quality of the pitch, I couldn't say no.

"It has been an absolute nightmare, but to be back is brilliant.

"Football is what I love to do and hopefully now I can keep myself fit, get some games under my belt and work from there."

Pearson goes straight into the Mariners' squad for tomorrow's clash with Witton Albion.

Joint manager Graham Fenton admits he's delighted to add some competition for places at the club.

"We're looking forward to seeing Brendan's progression over the next few weeks and months as he works closely alongside Phil Naisbett and Liam Connell.

"Bringing Brendan in creates that vital competitiveness in the goalkeeping position for us.

"We think with a little bit of time, Brendan is going to look sharper and sharper over the coming weeks, having not had much game-time over recent seasons because of injuries.

"We're really looking forward to seeing him get better and sharper."