Striker Paul Blackett has completed a move to South Shields from fellow North East side Spennymoor Town.
Blackett is a proven goalscorer at National League North level, having netted regularly in the division during spells with Gateshead, Blyth Spartans and Spennymoor.
Despite injuries, he scored 10 goals in Gateshead’s title-winning campaign in 2021-22 before again hitting double figures last season following a switch to Spennymoor.
The 25-year-old also enjoyed a hugely productive loan stint with Whitby Town in the 2019-20 season, scoring 10 times in 11 appearances, and he will be looking to again be a regular source of goals in new surroundings at 1st Cloud Arena.
Blackett said: “This is a great place to be and I’m really happy to be part of it.
“People around the North East have looked at South Shields as one of the teams to keep an eye on for a while and I’ve been no different, so I’m very glad to be part of it now.
“I still feel quite young at 25, and it would be brilliant to be here for a long time and show everyone what I can do.
“I’ve only ever heard good things about the club, so once I knew there was interest, it was a no-brainer to join.”
As a youngster, Blackett had a stint on the books of Newcastle United, and also spent time in the Monkseaton Football Academy under the tutelage of then-Shields joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton.
His main goalscoring exploits to date have come in National League North, and he is hoping to hit the ground running in 2023-24.
Blackett added: “Most games in this league are going to be a battle, and there are some very good footballing teams as well.
“As long as we give it everything, though, we’ll be absolutely fine and I’m confident we’ll be pushing towards the top end of the table.
“I feel like I know the league because I’ve played at this level for a few years, so I’m aiming to get off to a good start and get the confidence building from there.”
South Shields manager Julio Arca said: “In Paul, we strongly feel we have someone who can bring plenty of goals to the team, and we’re delighted to add him to the squad.
“He has the ability to be one of our main forwards next season and has already proved what he can do at this level.
“He is at a good age to perform well and still improve, and we believe he will do really well for us.
“He’s someone who knows the league very well and we can’t wait to see him fit into the team.”
Blackett is Shields’ third new arrival of the summer, and you can sign up to watch the striker and his new team-mates in every home match of the 2023-24 National League North season by snapping up a season ticket.
They are available by clicking here.