Goalkeeper Liam Connell agrees move to Mariners from Dunston UTS

Goalkeeper Liam Connell agrees move to Mariners from Dunston UTS

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Dunston UTS goalkeeper Liam Connell.

The 30-year-old becomes the Mariners’ fifth summer addition, and joins after spending last season as captain at UTS Stadium.

Connell spent seven years with Dunston, winning the FA Vase in 2012, and counts Gateshead, Ryton, Chester-le-Street Town, Durham City and Tow Law Town among his former clubs.

Connell 2 smallerHe has also already had one spell at Mariners Park, having made two appearances for the club as a teenager in 2005.

The goalkeeper is now excited about what lies ahead with Shields, and has already set his sights on winning silverware.

He said: “It’s a good move for me. The ambition of the club is massive, and I just want to be part of what they’ve got this season.

“I want to be part of a winning team, so that’s why I’ve joined Jon (King) and Shields.

“The players that have been brought in so far this summer have been unbelievable, so it will be nice to play with them and hopefully be part of a winning team.

“It has been hard not to keep up with what has been happening at Shields over the last year, because it’s all over Twitter and Facebook with the supporters and the massive crowds the club gets.

“I want to be part of that, and hopefully we’ll be able to move up and win something.”

Connell leaves Dunston with a heavy heart, having kept well over 100 clean sheets for the club and established himself as a favourite with the supporters.

However, the new challenge at Mariners Park persuaded him to move on.

He said: “The fans here were a massive part of my decision.

“I’ve been at Dunston for seven years and the fans there have been unbelievable, but playing in front of hopefully over 1,000 fans here with top quality players would be brilliant.

“Dunston will always be close to my heart, though, as I made some excellent friends there, the committee is spot-on and Billy Irwin, the manager, has been great with me over the last seven years.”

Connell faces a battle to be fit for the start of the season, as he is set to undergo an operation on the cartilage in his shoulder.

He added: “It’s just a nip and tuck, so hopefully I’ll not be out for long.

“I’ll strengthen it through pre-season, and fingers crossed I’ll be back for the start of the season. If not, then hopefully early in August.

“I’m really looking forward to getting in, meeting everyone and getting started.”

*You can watch Liam and his Shields team-mates in all 21 Northern League Division One home games next season by purchasing a season ticket. To book, please call 0191 454 7800.*