South Shields swoop for ex-Chelsea, Leeds and Hartlepool United midfield ace
South Shields’ summer rebuild continues with the signing of experienced midfielder Michael Woods.
Woods helped York City to promotion from National League North last season and brings a wealth of experience to 1st Cloud Arena.
He spent time as an Academy player with Leeds United and Chelsea, and made two senior appearances for the London giants during his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge.
Stints with Notts County, Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers and Harrogate Town followed, before Woods established himself during a four-and-a-half year period with Hartlepool United, where he made more than 150 appearances.
Woods returned to Harrogate in 2018 and moved to Dover Athletic a year later, but the lure of hometown club York brought him back north in 2020 and a two-year stay yielded promotion when the Minstermen triumphed in last month’s play-off final.
A new challenge now awaits the 32-year-old, who said: “I’m buzzing to have signed for South Shields and can’t wait to get going.
“These things can happen quite quickly in football and once I’d had a conversation with the people in charge, the ambition of the club was pretty clear.
“I only live 15 or 20 minutes down the road and I’m well aware of the misfortune the club had during the pandemic, so there’s a score to settle and hopefully next season we can go one step further.
“I firmly believe this club has everything it takes to go all the way to the Football League in terms of facilities, and it is already backed by a brilliant fanbase.”
South Shields manager Kevin Phillips said: “Michael is another brilliant signing for the club and we’re very pleased to have secured his signature.
“He is an experienced, quality player who has played at a very good level for a long time, and this is a massive coup for us.
“I can’t wait to get working with him, particularly because of the leadership qualities he has already demonstrated in the conversations I’ve had with him.
“Michael has real passion for the game and his first words to me were, ‘let’s get going!’, which is exactly the attitude we are looking for as we continue to mould the squad.”
On his remaining plans for recruitment this summer, Phillips added: “I’m really happy with the business we’ve been able to do so far.
“The backing we’ve received from Geoff Thompson to bring these players in, and the support we’ve had behind the scenes in making it all happen, has been brilliant.
“We’ve already got three through the door and we’re looking to sign another three or four more to get us in the best possible shape for next season.”