Conor Newton has signed for South Shields to become the club’s ninth summer arrival.
The midfielder adds more competition for places as the Mariners prepare for Saturday’s Pitching In Northern Premier League opener against Stalybridge Celtic at 1st Cloud Arena.
Former Newcastle United Academy prospect Newton has impressed in training with Shields over recent weeks, and came on as a substitute in the 3-0 pre-season victory over Dunston last Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who has penned an initial deal until January, said: “I’m over the moon to have joined South Shields.
“I’ve been out of full-time football for a long time but was given the opportunity to come in and train with the lads and it’s hard not to enjoy the facilities here and the standards throughout the club.
“Everything is done properly and you can’t not get yourself up for training every day at a club like this.
“I know exactly what the gaffer wants from me and my time at the club so far has definitely reignited a spark in me.
“I feel fit and ready to go, and if called upon on Saturday I’d be delighted to be involved.”
Although he did not make a senior appearance for Newcastle, Newton starred in a loan spell at St Mirren, with whom he won the Scottish League Cup in 2013. He scored what proved to be the winning goal in the final against Hearts.
He returned to St Mirren for a second loan spell the following season, appearing another 37 times in the Scottish top flight, before stints in the Football League with Rotherham United and Cambridge United.
Newton played for Hartlepool United between 2017 and 2019 and then spent a three-year period with Whickham, but has now moved back up the football pyramid to join Shields.
Mariners manager Kevin Phillips said: “We’re delighted to welcome Conor to the club.
“We weren’t intending to make another signing at this stage, but I always said that if something popped up which strengthened us, we would be silly not to look at it.
“Conor trained with us for a week to 10 days and played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Sunderland, and he really impressed us.
“He brings a different dimension to our midfield options and his experience is also of great significance.
“Conor brings real leadership qualities and a strong character, just like all our other signings, coupled with those we already had, and he has already settled well into the group.
“Conor will be a massive asset for us in what is likely to be a long and gruelling season, and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Newton and his new Shields team-mates begin their league campaign against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday. You can secure a ticket for this match by clicking here.
Season tickets remain available online via this link.