Alex Kempster signs for South Shields

Alex Kempster signs for South Shields

South Shields FC is delighted to announce the signing of forward Alex Kempster.

The 24-year-old arrives after a two-and-a-half-year spell at York City, where he scored 10 goals in 34 league appearances last season.

Kempster was a key part of the York side which topped National League North in 2019-20 before the campaign was brought to a premature end.

He progressed impressively at Bootham Crescent following his arrival from Whitley Bay in February 2018, and also had a spell on loan with Spennymoor Town during his time at York.

After positive talks with Shields joint managers Graham Fenton and Lee Picton, Kempster opted to make the move to South Tyneside and bring his stint with the Minstermen to an end.

He said: “I’m buzzing to be a South Shields player.

“I’m excited to have a new venture and hopefully I’ll be able to help the club get where they want to be.

“After speaking to Lee and Graham about the vision here, and having seen how well the club has progressed over recent years, it’s a decision I’m very happy with.

“I’ve known them for a while and it’s clear what they’ve got set up here and what they want going forward.

“I’ve committed to the club because I can see where they want to go and want to be part of that progression.

“Hopefully we can do well this season and then kick on in the years ahead.”

Both Shields and York suffered a bitterly disappointing end to last season, missing out on promotion in unfortunate circumstances.

While the Mariners’ league campaign was controversially voided, York were pipped to top spot in National League North by King’s Lynn Town on points per game before being beaten in the play-off semi-final by Altrincham.

Kempster and his new Shields team-mates therefore all want to put the bitter taste of last season behind them and hit the ground running in the new campaign.

The arrival of Kempster has provided the Shields management team of Fenton, Picton and assistant manager Brian Smith with a major boost, adding to the earlier captures of previous loanees Myles Boney and Jordan Hunter.

Fenton said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have secured the signing of Alex.

“He has progressed really well over the last few seasons having come from the Northern League to play regularly for a side challenging for promotion from National League North.

“We feel it’s a real coup for the club to have attracted someone of Alex’s quality and age, with the potential to improve further.

“He ticks a lot of the boxes that myself, Lee and Brian were looking for in our only new signing of the off-season, not including the players whose loans have become permanent.

“Supporters can look forward to watching someone who is very athletic and can take people on, while hopefully chipping in with a fair amount of assists and goals over the next few years.”

There is a palpable feeling of excitement among the Shields ranks ahead of the new season, which could start with a league fixture on Saturday, September 19 although that date has not yet been confirmed, and fixtures have not been released.

Fenton has told of his satisfaction with the way the squad has come together.

He added: “This finalises our squad and we’re absolutely delighted with how it’s shaping up.

“The players have looked after themselves well over the last few months and are in a great starting place.

“There are plenty of improvements to come from them, but with the quality and enthusiasm they have I’m sure we will get the season off to a really good start.”