Jordan Hunter completes move to South Shields after rejecting Sunderland offer
The full-back put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Mariners, having snubbed a two-year contract to remain at the Black Cats.
Hunter spent a successful season on loan at Shields, and has decided his career can be advanced better at Mariners Park than playing for Sunderland’s Under-23s.
It is a huge coup for the Northern Premier League outfit, and comes on the back of their summer signing of goalkeeper Myles Boney last week.
"I enjoyed a great season here on loan from Sunderland last year and while I could have stayed at the Stadium of Light, it was so clear to see that this club shares my ambition to keep on improving,” the 20-year-old said.
"I was really flattered to see their desire to make my loan move a permanent one and as soon as the club offered me a three-year contract, I couldn't wait to sign it and help them try and achieve the success we all desire.”
Hunter joined Shields on an initial one-month loan from Sunderland last August which was quickly extended until the end of the season, and he went on to win the club's Young Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year awards.
A graduate from Liverpool’s academy, he is now eager to get going again at a club he feels at home at.
He added: "The club is going places and I know that from first hand experience having been here last season.
"There are so many different elements which make it a great place to be.
"The coaching staff are brilliant, as are the players on and off the pitch, and then there are the brilliant fans who we feel so close to.
"My family have always been made to feel so welcome and if they're happy here, that makes it so much easier for me.
"All the lads are feeling very motivated going into the new season and we want to do even better than last time. I just want to fast-forward to the first game of the season now."