Robert Briggs has been appointed as South Shields’ captain.
The midfielder takes the armband from Jon Shaw, who will continue as a key member of the playing squad but has passed on his captaincy responsibilities after taking the role of joint assistant manager. Blair Adams has been named vice-captain.
Briggs is the longest-serving player in the Mariners’ squad, having made 279 appearances across two spells at the club.
The 28-year-old’s current stint began in August 2015 and he has since been part of three promotion campaigns and six trophy wins.
As Shields prepare to kick-off a new era under the sole management of Graham Fenton, with Shaw and Brian Smith his assistants, Briggs has told of his pride after being entrusted with the armband.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been offered the chance to become captain of the club.
“It’s a great honour for me and there have been some incredible captains in the past, including Leepaul Scroggins, Barrie Smith, Julio Arca and Shawsy.
“I appreciate the faith shown in me by Graham, Jon and Bri, and my aim doesn’t change because I’m now captain.
“Everything is still the same in the sense of trying to be successful at the club and getting the club as far up the football pyramid as possible.
“It’s great to have Blair as vice-captain as well because he is a tremendous player and a big part of the dressing room.
“Again, for me and him the goals don’t change.
“Winning every game we play in is the target.”
Joint assistant manager Jon Shaw said: “After a conversation with Fents and Bri, we’ve decided that with my new added responsibilities as joint assistant manager it’s the right time to pass over the captain’s armband.
“The natural progression from vice-captain and the right man for the job is Briggsy.
“He already acts like a leader in the changing room, on the training pitch and on game day with his performances.
“I’ll be proud to follow him out of the tunnel and I’m sure the lads will be happy with him leading them, which he has done so well on many occasions already.”
Vice-captain Blair Adams said: “I’m proud to have been named vice-captain and it has made me even more excited for the season to be back up and running.
“The squad is ready to go and we are determined to make this a successful season.”
It’s Day Four of the SSFC Advent Calendar – and you now have the chance to enter the competition to win a signed pair of Myles Boney’s gloves.
Today’s feature is kicked off by Joint Assistant Manager Jon Shaw, who delivers his message for supporters in the tweet below.
🎄 Welcome to Day 4⃣ of the #SSFCAdventCalendar, which is introduced by Jon Shaw.
Today is your last chance to enter our comp for a signed pair of Myles Boney's gloves, and a party grill courtesy of TGS.
— South Shields FC (@SouthShieldsFC) December 4, 2020
Between now and Christmas Eve, you will be able to enter a range of competitions to win prizes courtesy of the club and several of its sponsors.
The first item up for grabs is a signed pair of Myles Boney’s gloves. All four of the questions and details of how to enter the competition are available by clicking here.
Later on Friday, we will announce the winner of a party grill courtesy of club sponsor TGS Industrial Supplies.
The first of them is South Shields-based Cancer Connections, which is dedicated to serving individuals and families suffering from cancer and its after-effects. We fully appreciate that times are difficult at present and many will not be in a position to donate, but those who would like to can do so by clicking here.
Cancer Connections is a brilliant charity which is more relevant than ever during the pandemic. Although its drop-in centre is currently closed, staff can still be spoken to over the phone, with counselling, welfare benefits advice, information about cancer, family support and “someone to talk with who understands” all available by calling 0191 456 5081.
Over the month, donations will also be encouraged towards the club’s charitable Foundation, which works with hundreds of children each week and does such fantastic work within our community.
To support the Foundation with a donation, please click here.
Lee Picton has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive and Graham Fenton will take sole charge of the first-team as part of a management restructure at South Shields Football Club.
Lee begins his new role with immediate effect, with Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup match at Cheltenham Town to be the final match led by the joint management team.
Jon Shaw becomes Joint Assistant Manager alongside Brian Smith while Keith Finnigan will now operate in his specialist area of finance.
The day-to-day running of the club will be the responsibility of Lee as positive changes are made to facilitate further growth and development at 1st Cloud Arena.
Keith now has an expanded remit after agreeing to join the board of the club’s main shirt sponsor, Business Energy Claims, while he also continues to lead a separate property development business.
It was therefore deemed appropriate to narrow his role at the football club, but he will have a pivotal position supporting Lee and club Chairman Geoff Thompson by providing the timely and accurate financial reporting essential for any successful business.
Mr Thompson said: “As part of our ongoing development, we have reviewed our structure and put in place what we feel is the most appropriate management team to move the club forwards.
“I firmly believe Lee is the perfect candidate for this new role and am delighted he has accepted it.
“His expertise, extraordinary knowledge of the game and strong experience of the club and all who work within it are invaluable assets to us and I’m hugely excited to see how South Shields FC will continue to develop in his image.
“I’m equally delighted that Graham has agreed to become Manager, ably assisted by Jon Shaw, Brian Smith and the rest of our outstanding coaching team.
“Graham and Lee have achieved incredible success over the last four years as Joint Managers and I have full confidence that the positive work and upward trajectory will be maintained by our new management team.
“Jon will be a tremendous addition to that as he steps up from his Academy duties and continues his impressive development as a coach, alongside his playing responsibilities.
“Keith Finnigan will remain a key and valued figure operating in his specialist area of finance. His contribution to the club over the last three-and-a-half years has been invaluable and I can’t stress enough how important he is within our management team.
“I’m hugely enthused about the future at the club as we look to further our progression with an excellent team behind the scenes both in football and non-football roles all pushing in the same direction to deliver success for our town, our magnificent supporters and our loyal sponsors.
“I firmly believe that the years ahead will be very bright and these changes make me even more confident that will be the case.”
Chief Executive Lee Picton said: “Working alongside Graham over the last four seasons as Joint First-Team Managers has been an absolute pleasure and privilege.
“As everyone knows our partnership has been a longstanding one, and although I now move on from it with a heavy heart, I take away with me a multitude of incredible memories and experiences of managing the team together, that I will cherish forever.
“The support Graham has given to me during our time working alongside each other at the club thus far has been fantastic, and I greatly look forward to hopefully many more years of working together but now just in slightly different roles.
“Being asked to take on the role of Chief Executive at our fantastic football club is such an exciting prospect and challenge for me.
“I want to publicly thank Geoff Thompson for his trust in me. I completely appreciate the responsibility that comes with such an important role and I fully intend to give my absolute all in the pursuit of driving the club to yet greater heights, both on and off the pitch, and to build on the tremendous work that Keith Finnigan has carried out and overseen in recent years.
“Undoubtedly, the single biggest thing that fills me with such optimism, hope and motivation in my new role moving forwards, is that our club is awash with great people.
“From our first-team management to our junior section, committee, back office staff, matchday volunteers and incredibly loyal fans and sponsors, we are truly blessed with the people that are tied to our club.
“My job moving forwards is to harness the energy of all these people in the most positive and effective way possible, and if this can be achieved then I truly believe the possibilities for our club are unbelievably exciting.”
First-Team Manager Graham Fenton said: “I’m hugely excited to have been given the responsibility of sole management of the first-team and I’d like to thank Geoff for the faith he has shown in me by giving me this role.
“Myself, Jon and Brian will continue the hard work and will of course be aiming to build on the success that the joint management team has enjoyed over the last four years.
“I know the addition of Jon to the first-team coaching staff will be well-received within the dressing room as he is a much-liked and respected member of the squad and as we all know, has huge knowledge and experience within the game.
“Together with Brian, we are hugely enthused by the prospect of working as a team and feel we will compliment each other exceptionally well.
“I’d like to personally wish Lee well in his new role and I know he will do a fantastic job in progressing the club in other areas.”
Joint Assistant Manager Jon Shaw said: “I want to thank Graham for the opportunity and asking me to join the management team. I can’t wait to get started and help out in any way I can and repay his faith in me to do the job.
“It’s an exciting progression in my career which of course is something I am proud and pleased about but as always my focus will be on the club being successful, and I can’t wait to get started with Graham, Bri, Phil Naisbett, Andy Morris and all the staff and players in continuing that.
“I’m going to miss the 16-19s job but I’m always going to be thankful for the opportunity I had to come over and work alongside and learn from Wess Brown and Jamie Williams. The 16-19s will still be a big part of my job as we’ve told those lads to push for first-team shirts and I’ll no doubt continue being part of their development through watching them play and coaching them.
“I want to thank Lee for the way he has coached and managed me over the last four-and-a-half years as I’ve learned a lot. There’s a part of me that’s sad he won’t be a part of the team now but I’m really happy for him that he’s going to continue here in a role that will no doubt help the club move forward.”