Josh Doherty will become South Shields’ sixth summer signing, subject to receiving FA and international clearance.

Ahead of the versatile left-sided player’s arrival, we take a closer look at the 26-year-old…

  • Josh Doherty was born on March 15th, 1996 in the town of Newtownards, Northern Ireland
  • He was in the youth system of Northern Irish side Ards until signing a scholarship with Watford as a 16-year-old in 2012
  • Near the end of his two-year scholarship, Doherty made his debut for the Hornets in a Championship match against Huddersfield Town in May 2014
  • Just days later, he signed his first professional contract with Watford, where he would stay for a further two years
  • Doherty’s deal at Vicarage Road ended in the summer of 2016, when he joined League Two club Leyton Orient
  • During this time, Doherty was also progressing in Northern Ireland’s youth set-up. He represented his country at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level
  • He spent just over six months at Leyton Orient, which included a loan spell with Altrincham
  • After his departure by mutual consent, Doherty returned to Northern Ireland to rejoin hometown club Ards on a short-term deal
  • A versatile left-footed player, he has played at left midfield, left-back and central midfield
  • Doherty came back to England after his stint with Ards as he signed for Crawley Town, where he was initially managed by Harry Kewell, his former Watford youth coach
  • It was at Crawley that Doherty built up the bulk of his senior experience, making just short of 100 appearances in a three-and-a-half-year spell
  • The last season of his time at Crawley featured a loan period at Colchester United, before Doherty had a short stint in the National League with Barnet in the 2021-22 campaign
  • In January 2022, Doherty signed a deal until the end of the season with NIFL Premiership club Portadown
  • He made 15 appearances for Portadown last season, helping the club avoid relegation from the top division via the play-offs
  • Doherty now returns to England with South Shields as he begins a new challenge in his career

Former Football League regular Josh Doherty is to become the club’s sixth summer addition, subject to receiving FA and international clearance.

Doherty, a versatile left-footed player who has played at left midfield, left-back and central midfield, joins after a spell in his native Northern Ireland with top-flight side Portadown.

He came through the ranks at Watford after moving to England at the age of 16 and made an appearance for the Hornets in the Championship before spells with Leyton Orient, Altrincham and Northern Irish outfit Ards.

A three-and-a-half spell with Crawley Town between September 2017 and January 2021 is where Doherty picked up the bulk of his senior experience as he represented the club almost 100 times in League Two, and he also has stints at Colchester United and Barnet to his name.

Capped by Northern Ireland up to Under-21 level, the 26-year-old has now agreed to move to the North East as he begins the latest chapter of his football journey.

Doherty said: “I’m over the moon to have signed for South Shields and can’t wait to get started.

“After meeting with the manager and the other staff, the ambition of the club was clear and I wanted to be a part of it.

“They came so close to promotion last season and our job is to get over the line this time, because this is a club that wants to go places.

“I couldn’t say no when I heard about the plans for the future and had a look at the facilities, which shocked me in a very good way.

“I’m really excited about what lies ahead.”

South Shields manager Kevin Phillips said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Josh has decided to join us.

“He is very excited about the project we’ve presented to him for not just this season, but the years ahead, and it’s brilliant to have him as part of the squad.

“Josh brings great attributes to the squad. He has an unbelievable left foot, brings good energy and has a fantastic delivery.

“He has a terrific attitude and can also play in various positions, which is a huge bonus and provides added competition to areas of the pitch we felt it was needed.

“This is an important addition for us and I firmly believe our fans will be very excited when they see Josh play.”

Doherty is the Mariners’ sixth summer signing after the arrivals of Mackenzie Heaney, Martin Smith, Michael Woods, Gary Liddle and Dylan Mottley-Henry.

You can watch them all in action throughout the 2022-23 campaign by securing a season ticket. Click here to purchase online, or visit the club office between 10am and 4pm on weekdays. You can also purchase over the phone between those times by calling 0191 454 7800.