South Shields swoop for ex-Sunderland and Doncaster Rovers youngster
Former Doncaster Rovers youngster Will McGowan has become South Shields’ third signing of the summer, subject to FA clearance.
The midfielder earned a senior contract after impressing the Shields management team in training over recent weeks.
He was part of Sunderland’s Academy from the age of 12 to 16 before his stint with Doncaster where he regularly trained with the first-team as he displayed significant progression.
Supporters could get a chance to watch McGowan in a Shields shirt for the first time in Tuesday’s friendly at Newton Aycliffe after the 18-year-old settled quickly into the group.
He said: “I’m really excited to have joined the club.
“I’ve been training for a while and now I just want to get going and play games.
“There’s a great group of lads here and they’ve made me feel really welcome since I came in.
“It feels like the club is going places and it’s something I want to be part of.”
McGowan is a former school friend of fellow Shields midfielder Will Jenkins and also had a pre-existing friendship with striker Sam Hodgson before linking up with the Mariners.
He is eager to make his mark after the impact of the pandemic forced him to train on his own during the lockdown period.
The midfielder added: “Between leaving Doncaster and coming here, I was training on my own because of Covid so I was out of the game for a while.
“My time at Doncaster really helped me to develop as a player and I trained with their first-team quite a lot, but now it’s important for me to gain experience in men’s football here.
“I’m determined to make the most of this opportunity and will do everything I can to break into the team.
“That’s going to be a challenge with so many good players in the squad but when I get the shirt, I need to keep it.”
Manager Graham Fenton said: “We’re absolutely delighted Will has committed his future to the club.
“He has turned down a fantastic opportunity of a scholarship in the United States to sign for the club and from our point of view, he has thoroughly deserved this chance.
“Will started training with the Academy after being released by Doncaster and made a huge impression straightaway, hence he was given the chance to step up to the first-team.
“We have been impressed with how quickly and easily he has stepped up to that level.
“He is a midfielder with fantastic awareness and quality on the ball, and although he is a fairly small player he uses his body exceptionally well to maintain possession for the team.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how he progresses over the next few years at the club but have really high hopes that he’s going to do exceptionally well.
“We know he has a really good grounding having been at Sunderland and Doncaster, and it’s now time for him to force his way into a senior team with us here at South Shields.”