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South Shields target two new strikers

Jamie Holmes was released by Shields.
Jamie Holmes was released by Shields.

South Shields will step up their hunt for two new strikers after announcing their retained list.

The Mariners are looking to add a couple of proven forwards to their ranks after releasing Luke Sullivan, Aksel Juul and Jamie Holmes.

Fellow frontman Graeme Armstrong – who joined the club midway through the season – has been placed on the transfer list.

Experienced duo Gavin Cogdon and Carl Finnigan, and former North Shields man Lee Mason – who hit a purple patch in front of goal at the end of the season – have been retained by the club as they look to launch a promotion charge in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

But management duo Lee Picton and Graham Fenton are keen to strengthen their firepower and bring in someone capable of scoring 25 goals next season.

They have already held talks with a couple of targets, including a striker believed to be from outside the area, as they look for a fourth consecutive promotion.

Shields have added two new players to their squad since the end of the campaign, signing former Darlington defensive duo Gary Brown and Chris Hunter.

Their arrival has added competition for places in defence, meaning Alex Nicholson has been released after his contract came to an end. Nicholson, who joined from Blyth Spartans, played at right-back in the FA Vase Final last May, but has slipped further down the pecking order.

Three other players out of contract, Michael Richardson, Louis Storey and long-serving Stephen Ramsey, remain in discussion with the club over their roles next season, while goalkeper Paul Woolston has left after the end of his loan spell and skipper Julio Arca decided to retire earlier this month.

Craig Baxter, Robert Briggs, Anthony Callaghan, Liam Connell, Carl Finnigan, Darren Lough, , Dillon Morse, Matty Pattison, Jon Shaw and Barrie Smith have been retained.

A Shields statement said: “The club would like to express its sincere thanks to all players who are leaving the club, and wishes them well for the future.”