South Shields have pulled off a transfer coup by signing ex-Sunderland youngster Blair Adams.
The former Coventry City and Notts County left-back had been without a club since leaving Hartlepool United at the end of last season.
He has trained and played for his hometown club throughout pre-season, and has now put pen to paper after being impressed with the club's facilities and ambition.
Adams, who lined up on the left wing in the friendly against Hebburn Town in midweek, said: "I'm delighted to have signed. I've been here throughout pre-season and the two managers have been patient in allowing me to come in and get a feel of the place.
"The environment which is provided here made it an easy decision, really.
"The last couple of seasons have been quite tough for me and this is a club on the up.
"We're in this division but want to be pushing higher and I want to be part of that."
Adams, 26, started his career with Sunderland, and won two caps for England's Under-20s during his time on the books at the Stadium of Light.
He had loan spells with Brentford, Northampton Town and Coventry City before completing a permanent move to Coventry in 2013, becoming a regular for the Sky Blues in League One.
Spells at Notts County, Mansfield Town, Cambridge United and Hamilton Academical followed before he spent last season in the National League with Hartlepool.
Adams came on as a substitute in last season's FA Cup tie between Shields and Pools, and that occasion made him even more excited about joining his hometown club.
He added: "I was disappointed not to start on the day but I was just coming back from a groin injury.
"It was a great atmosphere and that day showed the potential of this club. It made me a little bit more comfortable coming in for this pre-season, having already played here."
The Shields-born star has been a regular at Mariners Park over the last couple of years, and was at Wembley last year to cheer on the club as they lifted the FA Vase.
South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton said: "We have had to be patient to get this deal done and we are absolutely over the moon that Blair has decided to put pen to paper.
"We feel it's a massive coup for the club to attract a player of Blair's quality and we're looking forward to working with him over the next few years.
"He provides us with real potency going forward from full-back and his defensive awareness and skills are also really strong, and he can also play high and wide.
"He's an all-round fantastic player for the level we're playing at.
"We already know he is the right character and we know how much he wants to win and do well for the club, especially with him being a local lad.
"You can tell that this is a project for him - he wants to do as well as possible for the club to help us progress through the leagues."