Exciting youngster Joao Gomes signs first senior contract with South Shields
Exciting prospect Joao Gomes has signed his first senior contract with South Shields.
The 18-year-old, who has impressed since joining the club's Academy in the summer of 2019, has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at 1st Cloud Arena.
Gomes was an integral part of the young Mariners' remarkable run to the third round of the FA Youth Cup in the 2019-20 season, scoring four goals including a dramatic stoppage-time winner against Morecambe and a spectacular long-range strike against Harrogate Town.
The attacking midfielder will now link-up with Shields' first-team squad and has expressed his determination to catch the eye of the management.
He said: "I'm really happy and excited to have signed this contract.
"I feel like all of the hard work I've put in over the last two years has paid off to get to this point, but now I need to push on again.
"I can't wait to see what the future holds for me at this club and it's my responsibility now to make sure I'm ready to play in the first-team."
Gomes grew up in Lisbon, Portugal, and has caught the eye since joining Shields with his creative and goalscoring ability.
First-team manager Graham Fenton was pleased to secure the services of a player who had attracted attention from a number of clubs higher up the pyramid.
He said: "We're delighted that Joao has signed a two-year contract with the club.
"He has shown real promise over the last couple of years in the Academy and produced some exceptionally good performances, particularly in the FA Youth Cup run two seasons ago.
"Joao has had plenty of interest from clubs higher up the football pyramid and has been on several trials, so it is great that he has committed his future to us.
"He will come straight into the first-team squad and it is now up to him in his actions and performances to force his way into our minds in terms of team selection.
"He has some very talented footballers in front of him at the moment and it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to push his way past those players, but we have already seen that he has high quality and we're looking forward to seeing him rise to the challenge."