Adam Thurston agrees to join South Shields
South Shields FC have completed the signing of midfielder Adam Thurston, subject to international clearance.
The 24-year-old, who can also play at right-back, is set to become the Mariners’ first addition of the summer.
Thurston has spent the last two years playing in the Southern Hemisphere, most recently for Canterbury United in New Zealand’s top flight.
He spent eight years in Manchester United’s academy before spells with Preston North End, Hyde United and FC United of Manchester.
Thurston – originally from the North West – came to the attention of Shields joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton after his return to the country this summer.
He has now put pen to paper and is excited about the future at Mariners Park.
He said: “I’m buzzing to be here.
“It took a little while to get it over the line but now it’s done, I’m delighted and can’t wait to get going.
“The club has big ambitions and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Thurston prefers a central midfield role and is happy with both attacking and defensive duties, while he is also adept at playing at right-back.
He believes he learned a lot from his spells in Australia and New Zealand, but is looking forward to returning to the style of football he knows best.
He added: “I learned a lot from being away in a different culture and environment.
“I met a lot of good people and loved every minute of it, but I’m delighted to be back and being involved in more competitive football.
“It’s a lot more physical over here.
“I’ve played in this league before and it’s tough because there are no easy games and it’s always competitive.
“Promotion is our aim next season and Lee and Graham have excited me about the plan to move up through the leagues, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Picton was pleased to secure the club’s first new signing of the summer.
He said: “We’re delighted to be bringing someone of Adam’s calibre to the club.
“His footballing journey has brought him through clubs of the stature of Manchester United and Preston North End, and he has played in the top flight of New Zealand football for the last couple of seasons with Canterbury United.
“Adam is a fantastic age and has impressed us massively whenever we have watched him play or met him in person as a human being.
“We feel his personality fits perfectly within the culture we’re trying to further develop at the club.”