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Luke James to become second summer signing

Luke James has agreed to become the Mariners’ second signing of the summer.

The forward will join on July 1st following the expiration of his contract with National League side York City.

He is perhaps best-known for three stints with his first club, Hartlepool United, and he remains Pools’ youngest-ever goalscorer, having netted a 25-yard volley against Rochdale aged 17 years and 64 days.

That is one of 31 goals James scored across six full seasons with Hartlepool, and the 28-year-old has also had spells with Peterborough United, Bradford City, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers and Barrow.

James said: “I’m very pleased to be here.

“As soon as I knew it was going to happen, I was excited to join, because it’s a club going in the right direction.

“When I was weighing my options up, there were no real negative sides to coming here, which is very rare.

“I’m absolutely delighted to get it over the line.”

James was a priority target for Shields manager Julio Arca and assistant Tommy Miller.

A conversation with the duo whetted the forward’s appetite as to what lies ahead.

He added: “I first heard of the interest a couple of weeks ago.

“I talked with the gaffer and Tommy, and as soon as I spoke to them I knew I wanted to come.

“They spoke about the plans they have for the team, and they fitted with me perfectly.

“After that, I was even more eager to get it done, and I couldn’t be happier that it is complete now.

“Another bonus is that I know quite a few of the lads – the likes of Gary Liddle, Michael Woods and Dillon Morse – and the way they like to play.

“That made it even more of a no-brainer to join because they’re all good lads, want to play the right way and are willing to put their bodies on the line.”

South Shields manager Julio Arca said: “Luke is a player with experience of playing in higher divisions, and is someone the club has been looking at for a few years.

“He’s a forward who works very hard and I’m sure he’ll provide goals for the team next season.

“He’s a great addition to our squad and we’re glad to have him on board.”

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