Goalkeeper Brendan Pearson completes move to SSFC
Goalkeeper Brendan Pearson has joined South Shields on the eve of the new season.
The 21-year-old made three appearances during pre-season for the Mariners, and kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 draw at Tadcaster Albion a fortnight ago.
Pearson came through the ranks at Newcastle United, who he left at the end of the last campaign.
He signed his first professional contract with the Magpies in 2016 and played for the club up to Under-23s level before injuries hampered his progress.
Now fully fit, he is raring to go at Mariners Park as he competes with Liam Connell for a starting place.
Pearson said: “This is a massive opportunity for me and I’m delighted to be here.
“I haven’t played a lot of football over the last few years, mainly because of injuries, and the opportunity came around to come here in pre-season and I couldn’t say no to it.
“If you look at the quality of players and staff we have here, as well as the quality of the pitch, I couldn’t say no.
“I’m excited to get the season going on Saturday.”
Pearson returned to playing after an almost two-year absence in January for Newcastle’s Under-23s.
The former Gateshead loanee suffered from patellar tendonitis, but is now back fully fit and aiming to establish himself in the game again.
He added: “It has been an absolute nightmare, but to be back is brilliant.
“Football is what I love to do and hopefully now I can keep myself fit, get some games under my belt and work from there.”
Pearson will now work closely alongside Connell and goalkeeping coach Phil Naisbett as the season gets underway.
It promises to be a tough battle for the No.1 shirt.
Pearson said: “It’s good to have that competition.
“At a lot of clubs, you always have that No.1 and they don’t really have that person to push them.
“It’s good that Liam and I will be able to battle it out, and we get on really well too, so it’s not a complete rivalry!”
South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton said: “We’re looking forward to seeing Brendan’s progression over the next few weeks and months as he works closely alongside Phil Naisbett and Liam Connell.
“Bringing Brendan in creates that vital competitiveness in the goalkeeping position for us.
“We think with a little bit of time, Brendan is going to look sharper and sharper over the coming weeks, having not had much game-time over recent seasons because of injuries.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing him get better and sharper.”
Pearson will be available for selection in Shields’ season opener at home to Witton Albion on Saturday.
IMAGE: Kev Wilson.