Dan Martin has joined South Shields on an initial month-long loan from Accrington Stanley.
The 19-year-old could make his debut for the Mariners in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie at Marske United, subject to FA clearance.
Martin – a midfielder who is also comfortable playing at full-back – has been with League One side Accrington since Under-9s level and is hoping to catch the eye in his time at 1st Cloud Arena as he steps into senior football.
He said: “I’m delighted to be here and can’t wait to get going.
“I’ve heard a lot about the club and we’ve had a very good start to the season, and I’m just looking to do whatever I can to help keep that momentum going.
“I’ve met all the players and staff and it seems like a really good place to be, so it shouldn’t take me too long to settle in.
“I want to get some men’s football experience and as much game-time as possible, but I know I’m going to have to work hard for it.”
South Shields manager Graham Fenton said: “We’re really pleased that Dan has joined the squad.
“He has been on the radar for a while through our recruitment manager Andy Burgess, who has seen him play quite a few times and rates him very highly.
“We’re excited to see Dan pull on the South Shields shirt.
“He is a highly technical player who can play in a couple of different positions, and will give us plenty of options while we have a few injury issues.
“We really hope Dan enjoys his time at the club and are greatly looking forward to working with him.”
South Shields travel to Marske United on Saturday as the sides battle for a place in the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Marske are the only team to have beaten the Mariners since the start of pre-season after emerging with a 3-2 victory in a friendly at 1st Cloud Arena in July.
Both outfits have gone on to have impressive starts in their respective league campaigns, with Shields top of the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division and Marske second in the tier below, having won six of their seven league matches.
They will be competing for a place in the third qualifying round on Saturday, which would put them just two further wins away from a spot in the first round of the prestigious competition.
The Mariners reached that stage for the first time since the club’s reformation in 1974 last season, and motivation is high to achieve a similar run this year.
Manager Graham Fenton, though, knows that to keep those hopes alive his team will need to overcome a fine opponent at Mount Pleasant.
He said: “We know Marske are a good side and they were impressive when we came up against them in pre-season.
“They’ve started well in the league and there are no surprises there.
“A lot of our fans who watched our friendly against them will have probably tipped them to win their league.
“They’ve got some really good players if you give them space to play in, they’ve got some pace up top and a bit of physicality.
“They’ve got a bit of everything and we know it’s going to be tough, but if we turn up like we did on Tuesday we’re going to cause them problems as well.”
Shields won 4-0 at Radcliffe on Tuesday as they moved two points clear at the top of the league.
It was a performance full of promise, with their first half display particularly eye-catching.
Fenton was pleased with what he saw in Greater Manchester, but further improvements are being targeted.
He added: “We felt we should have been two or three goals up before we scored the first one because we were playing some great stuff and creating some good opportunities.
“We had been a little wasteful in front of goal but then we just seemed to click and showed some ruthlessness.
“We took our chances really well in that period to effectively kill the game off before half-time.
“We’ve just got to tidy up a little bit because if we had shown a little more quality and composure, the scoreline could have been even more comfortable.”
Shields go into Saturday’s game without Nathan Lowe (hamstring), Jordan Hunter (arm) and Joao Gomes (knee).
Kick-off at Mount Pleasant – which has a post code of TS11 7BW – is at 3pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £5 for over-65s, 16-18-year-olds and students, and £3 for under-16s.
Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here. Although this is not an all-ticket game, Marske are strongly advising supporters to purchase tickets before the day.
Entry into the ground for those with advance tickets will be via the yellow gate, where your ticket (either on your phone or printed) will be scanned.
For those paying on the day, there will be two turnstiles in operation – one taking cash only and one accepting cash and card. Stewards will be present to direct supporters to the correct turnstile.
The turnstiles will be open from 1.30pm.
Car parking within the main Marske United car park will be strictly limited to players, management, club officials, match officials and those requiring disabled parking.
There will be overflow car parking in the old tennis courts, which are available to anyone. In addition, there is free parking in the village in the car park opposite the doctor’s surgery and at the Co-op.
There will also be parking available within Errington School, at a cost of £3 per car. Money raised will go towards school funds.
Supporters are advised that there is a good possibility that parking attendants may be patrolling the area around the ground. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to park responsibly and legally.
Coaches can allow supporters to alight near to Errington School/Southfield Road. The coaches will then be directed to park at H Jarvis, which is about half a mile away.
Within the ground
As well as the normal can bar (accepting cash or card) and Neil’s Kabin (accepting cash or card), there will also be marquees at the Southfield Road end of the ground (to the left as you enter the ground), which will contain a further can bar, a stall selling hot and cold food and cold drinks plus a stall selling curry and rice. These facilities will be cash only.
The clubhouse will be open from 1pm to 6pm, serving draught Carling and Caffreys as well as a wide selection of bottled lagers plus cans of cider and Guinness.
Marske railway station is approximately 250 yards from Mount Pleasant. There are trains every half hour from Darlington to Marske.
Please note that due to the Northern Athletics Road Relays, the Coast Road from Redcar to Marske will be closed from 11am to 5pm.
Radcliffe provide the Mariners’ latest test in the Pitching In Northern Premier League when the sides go head-to-head on Tuesday.
It will be a second trip to Greater Manchester in four days for Shields after Saturday’s 2-1 win at Hyde United.
That moved the Mariners two points clear at the top of the table, with Tuesday’s opponents Radcliffe sitting 16th, having averaged a point a game so far.
They defeated Nantwich Town 3-1 on Saturday to register their second league victory of the campaign, and Shields manager Graham Fenton is mindful of the threat which will be posed to his side at the Neuven Stadium.
He said: “Radcliffe never give you an easy game.
“They’ll provide us with another tough challenge and it’s back-to-back away games for us, so the lads have had to recuperate, refuel and get themselves ready.
“We did a light session on Monday with very minimal football to avoid any further accidents and mainly focussed on organisational stuff.
“The lads are in good spirits after Saturday’s game and have prepared well.”
Shields go into Tuesday’s match without right-back Jordan Hunter, who faces a spell on the sidelines after breaking his arm in training on Friday.
The game is also expected to come too soon for Nathan Lowe, but captain Robert Briggs should be in contention to return. Joao Gomes remains a long-term absentee.
Fenton is looking for his side to replicate their second half performance from Saturday, when they turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win.
He added: “We had to work extremely hard for it on Saturday.
“Hyde scored a goal that we were really disappointed with to take the lead, but the players showed great character and tried to do the right things even in the first half when they weren’t at their best.
“They tried to keep playing and unlock the door, and in the second half it was a magnificent performance and we deserved the victory.
“We’ll be looking for similar levels from the start at Radcliffe.”
Kick-off at the Neuven Stadium – which has a post code of M26 3PE – is at 7.45pm and admission prices are £10 for adults, £7 for concessions and £3 for under-18s. Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here, while cash and card payments will be accepted at the turnstiles.