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Marriott aims to make his mark at Shildon

Last week, SSFC Academy product Alfie Marriott joined Pitching In Northern Premier League East side Shildon AFC on a youth loan to help him gain experience in a first-team environment.

Marriott joined Shields players Jack Bodenham, Will McGowan (both Blyth Spartans), Will Jenkins (Dunston) and Sam Hodgson (Stockton Town) in heading out on loan, and he was denied a potential debut on Saturday when Shildon's trip to Dunston was postponed.

Shildon are alongside fellow North East sides Hebburn Town, Consett, North Shields, Dunston and Stockton in the NPL East, and are 19th in the table as they aim to avoid dropping into the Northern League.

After picking up eight points in the last five games, including a Boxing Day victory at North Shields, the County Durham outfit will be looking to rein in the gap on Grantham Town, who sit two points above them.

Not only did Marriott secure a loan move, but he also signed a long-term contract with the Mariners, prolonging his time at the 1st Cloud Arena.

The centre-back impressed first-team management to secure a starting place in the Isuzu FA Trophy tie against Warrington Town earlier this season, and he was named as a substitute for Shields FA Cup tie against Forest Green Rovers in November.

Marriott was also a key part of the Under-18s team which reached the first round of the FA Youth Cup.

After the double announcement of his contract and loan move, the 18-year-old said: "I'm absolutely buzzing, it feels amazing.

"It's a very happy moment for myself and my family.

"I've got a great opportunity at Shildon to hopefully play senior football and learn through playing with and against more experienced players and trying to develop my game.

"I've loved my time at South Shields so far and the Academy is full of great players, who are only getting better with the coaching they receive. Hopefully there will be plenty more to come through.”

Shildon travel to the oldest club in the world tomorrow, Sheffield FC, where Marriott could make his debut for his new side.

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