Middleton appointed

South Shields Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Gary Middleton as assistant manager.

Middleton, who served as Ashington manager for five years before resigning this January, will be number two to Jon King at Mariners Park.

Mark Scott and Dave Hall complete the first-team coaching set-up as Shields continue to prepare for next season in Ebac Northern League Division Two.

Ashington finished in the top eight of Division One in each of Middleton’s five full seasons in charge, and he joined them from West Allotment Celtic, who he had managed for three years.

As a player, he captained Whitley Bay to the FA Vase title in 2002, played in another Vase final at Wembley for Bedlington Terriers and represented other clubs including Blyth Spartans.

Middleton had been waiting for the right opportunity to get back into football since ending his successful spell at Ashington in January.

And he says it was the ‘project’ of Shields which enticed him to choose Mariners Park as his next destination.

He said: “Over five years at Ashington, I established them as a top-eight team.

“Last season was the toughest of my managerial career, though, and I just needed to come away and have a rest for a little bit.

“I got a phonecall from Jon King, and he asked me whether I was interested in getting back into the game.

“I wasn’t sure at the time, but Jon has sold me the project of the club and I am really excited by it.

“It needed to be the right club for me to get back into the game, and this is it.

“I’ve had a couple of other offers since leaving Ashington that I turned down, but this project was something which was exciting and challenging.

“I’m very excited to be on board. I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity, and we want to try and move this club forward.”

King said: “I’m over the moon to have Gary on board. He did a fantastic job at Ashington, and he always had them near the top of the First Division.

“He has got vast experience in the Northern League, and his knowledge of players is second to none.

“I played with him during my career, and have known him for a long time.

“The management team is now complete, and I’m delighted with it.

“We’re really looking forward to the new season and getting stuck into it.”

*You can watch a video interview with Gary this weekend on Mariners TV*

You can watch South Shields in action 21 times in the league next season at Mariners Park by purchasing a season ticket! For enquiries, please call 0191 537 2633, and for full details, follow the link: Season tickets – 2015-16