Shields sign defender Jack Bodenham

Shields sign defender Jack Bodenham

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of defender Jack Bodenham, subject to FA clearance. 

Bodenham had been without a club since departing boyhood side Cardiff City in the summer.

The 21-year-old captained the Bluebirds at several age groups, including the Under-23s, and has been capped by Wales at junior level.

Having previously enjoyed loan spells with Welsh Premier League side The New Saints and National League North outfit Hereford, Bodenham is now looking to kick on in his career after joining the Mariners.

The left-sided defender said: “It’s great to be here.

“From the moment I started speaking to Graham (Fenton) about joining the club, everything about it seemed really exciting and it was something I wanted to be a part of.

“The club seems to be going in the right direction and it’s exciting to be part of the group now.”

Bodenham was with Cardiff from the age of 14 after being scouted while playing at the club’s advanced development centre in his hometown of Newport.

His ability in possession and leadership skills were among the standout traits which led Bluebirds favourite Sol Bamba to tip him for a bright future in the game earlier this year.

Bodenham acknowledges that his career is now at a stage where it is essential his talents are developed on a first-team stage, which was a major factor in his decision to sign for Shields.

The centre-back – who has also filled in at left-back on occasions during his young career – added: “The fact the club has gone full-time was a big pull for me because being on the grass every day makes a big difference.

“Where the club wants to be and sees itself in the years ahead was also something that I really wanted to be part of.

“Another big part of it is that I’m at an age where I really need to be playing first-team football regularly, and I’ve got the chance to earn that here. That’s the only way I’m going to kick on.”

South Shields manager Graham Fenton said: “We’re over the moon that Jack has put pen to paper.

“He initially came on the radar through our recruitment manager, Andy Burgess, and on the back of that we watched him play for Hartlepool United against Blyth Spartans recently while he was on trial with them.

“We were very impressed with his all-round performance.

“Although he is relatively young at 21, Jack looks accomplished in both departments of the game and is assured and composed in and out of possession.

“The senior experience he has already gained through his spells with The New Saints and Hereford will stand him in good stead for his time with us and we can’t wait to get him started with some game-time against Gateshead.

“We’re still looking for possibly another one or two signings, but we will only make additions if the players are the right fit for us.

“We already have a highly competitive squad and if we can add another one or two players of high quality we’re going to be in a fantastic position to try to achieve our goal of promotion.”

Bodenham is in contention to make his first appearance for the Mariners in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Gateshead at 1st Cloud Arena.

Home supporters are able to purchase tickets in advance of the game by clicking here, while Shields fans will also be able to pay cash at turnstiles 1, 2, 5 and 6.