Robert Briggs signs new long-term contract at South Shields
Captain Robert Briggs has signed a new long-term contract with South Shields after an agreement was reached for him to join the club’s full-time training regime.
Briggs, who is the longest-serving member of the Mariners’ squad, has signed a deal until the summer of 2023, with an option for a further year.
The midfielder has been a shining light for Shields since rejoining the club from Spennymoor Town in 2015, helping the club to three league titles and six trophy wins.
He was named captain in December 2020 and will begin the 2021-22 campaign with 280 appearances and 78 goals to his name in claret and blue across two spells.
The 29-year-old – who was named in the Pitching In Northern Premier League’s Team of the Year in the most-recently completed season, 2018-19 – thanked his other employer after putting pen to paper at 1st Cloud Arena.
He said: "I'm thrilled that the deal has been done.
"My work situation needed to be sorted and there were some other offers on the table, but I'm so glad that this has been finalised and I'm able to continue my time here.
"It's great that my work have been flexible enough to give me the opportunity to do this and that South Shields have been so supportive of my situation as well.
"I can't wait to come in and spend even more time with the lads to see how we can work together to continue pushing this club as far as it can go.
"No matter which other clubs I spoke to or which offers were made, it was always in my head that I didn't want to leave South Shields.
"The toughest decision would have been to walk away and in the end that was something I wasn't prepared to do.
“I couldn’t really see myself playing anywhere else and after the management team showed great loyalty and faith in me by giving me the captain’s armband, I couldn’t walk away from them or the lads.”
Manager Graham Fenton said: "We're absolutely over the moon that Robert has committed his long-term future to the club.
"It took a while to get everything finalised due to uncertainty over his work commitments, but we're delighted we've managed to work through that and get his situation sorted out.
"We'd like to thank Robbie’s work for allowing him to pursue a few hours of training per week through the day and letting him pick up his other commitments at other times of the day. That was a huge factor in being able to get the deal over the line.
"I'm sure the supporters will be delighted that Robbie will be captaining the team for the foreseeable future.
"He has shown over the years what a huge asset he is to the club in terms of his performances on the pitch and his personality off it.
"We always knew he had the talent, but he has improved his understanding of his role in the team, wherever he is asked to play, over the last five years and showed tremendous development as a player.
"He was having an excellent season last time out before it was cut short and we look forward to continuing to see the quality we've been used to from him over the years."