South Shields manager Graham Fenton hoping to bring in a "couple" of new signings ahead Northern Premier League season

South Shields manager Graham Fenton will remain patient as he looks to add to his squad ahead of the new Northern Premier League season.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:24 pm
South Shields manager Graham Fenton. (Photo credit: Kevin Wilson)

Forwards Ntumba Massanka and Connor Tee were the first new faces through the door earlier this summer as the Mariners planned for their first season as a full-time, professional club.

Former Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland youngster Will McGowan has also joined the club and more new faces are expected before the new season gets underway next month.

They have been key departures with experienced trio Craig Baxter, Lee Mason and Phil Turnbull all moving to Dunston UTS and wingers Josh Gillies and Luke Daly have joined Blyth Spartans and Curzon Ashton respectively.

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Fenton is ready to play the waiting game as he looks to bolster his ranks and insisted he will only move for a player if he feels they are the right fit for the club.

He told The Gazette: “We have lost four experienced lads and only brought a couple in.

“We are still hoping to bring another couple in, but we are making sure we aren’t just going for anyone.

“We want to make sure they are the right ones, and we have a couple of irons in the fire, so we will hopefully get something done over the next couple of weeks.

“We are delighted with the squad as it is and if we can just add a little bit of experience and quality, we will be in a good place.

“We are looking at a minimum of two, maybe a third, but we aren’t going to panic.

“If the right player becomes available, we will try and get them in but it’s a competitive business.”

Fenton was talking after watching a Mariners XI claim a 3-0 win at Northern League Division One newcomers West Allotment Celtic.

First-team regulars Myles Boney, Jon Shaw, Robert Briggs and Jordan Hunter all appeared during the 90 minutes as Will McGowan, Sam Hodgson and a trialist all found the net.

But it was a youthful Mariners side containing a handful of 16-year-olds that impressed their manager during the second-half on North Tyneside.

“I just loved the second-half.

“We had five or six 16-year-olds on the pitch in the second-half and they acquitted themselves really well.

“We asked them to move the ball quicker and they have done exceptionally well.

“It was pleasing to watch.”

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