'We have a real player on our hands': Hebburn Town manager reacts to the signing of former Newcastle United youngster

Hebburn Town manager Kevin Bolam believes the addition of former Newcastle United midfielder Liam Smith has come at the right time as injuries continue to take hold of his squad.

Bolam will head into Saturday’s home game against Stockbridge Park Steels without the services of several key players including goalkeeper Mark Foden, captain Dan Groves and midfielder Michael McKeown.

There was some good news for the Hornets boss after Damen Mullen enjoyed a productive and injury-free loan spell with Northern League club Ashington and he will be in contention to feature in Saturday’s game.

New signing Smith will also be available for the first time after he officially joined Bolam’s ranks on Thursday night.

Hebburn Town's new signing Liam Smith

The Hornets manager is looking forward to working with the former Crewe Alexandra and Blackpool loanee and believes he can become a real asset during his time with the club.

He told The Gazette: He’s a very technical player and he comes with a fantastic pedigree.

“The challenge is for him to find the love for the game again and if we can help him do that, we have a real player on our hands.

“He’s already said he wants to stay local and play at this level.

“His addition comes at the right time because it’s just one injury after another at the moment.

“It’s part of the game but it’s so frustrating.”

Saturday’s game offers Bolam and his depleted squad an opportunity to continue their recent upturn in league form.

Hebburn head into their meeting with Steels looking to extend their unbeaten run to a sixth league game and a win at the Green Energy Sports Ground could lift them into into the top ten of the East Division table.

Bolam is relishing the return to league action following last weekend’s FA Trophy defeat at the hands of Warrington Town - but insisted his side would be taking nothing for granted.

“We are pleased that we are back in the league and we are on a bit of a good run.

“We are looking to add to that on Saturday and get points on the board that can hopefully help us move up the table.

“It’s a really competitive league and anybody can beat anybody on their day, so we can’t take anything for granted.”