Julio Arca is in line to make his South Shields debut in Saturday’s game against Stokesley Sports Club at Mariners Park.

The Argentine, formerly a crowd favourite at Sunderland and Middlesbrough, was among the 642 present at Saturday’s match between Shields and Easington Colliery.

Below is a selection of images following his signing, including when he met his new Mariners team-mates for the first time, captured by Daniel Prince and Peter Talbot.

The full selection of images can also be viewed in full here: In Pictures – Julio Arca joins Shields

Created with flickr slideshow.

By Daniel Prince

Julio Arca says his competitiveness remains as strong as ever after agreeing to join South Shields.

The former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder will be at Saturday’s game against Easington Colliery ahead of a potential debut against Stokesley Sports Club next Saturday at Mariners Park.

In the video above, Arca speaks at length about his move to Shields, what he wants to achieve at the club and his hopes that attendances will rise even further.

He also discusses his first thoughts on the “family club”, and praises stalwarts such as Gerry O’Reilly and Richard Bailey, who he met at Mariners Park on Friday.

South Shields Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of former Sunderland and Middlesbrough favourite Julio Arca.

The Argentine, who can play in the centre of midfield or at left-back, played for Sunday League side Willow Pond last season.

DSC_3169However, the 34-year-old is now returning to Saturday football, and could make his debut for Shields in next Saturday’s game against Stokesley Sports Club at Mariners Park.

Arca will meet his new team-mates for the first time tomorrow ahead of the game against Easington Colliery at Mariners Park, and says his competitiveness is as strong as ever.

He said: “I’ve been in talks with the manager, Jon King, and the chairman Geoff Thompson for a while, and they’re really excited about bringing the club up and progressing to make the club bigger.

“I want to bring some excitement to the club. The team is doing really well at the moment and are up near the top of the league, and hopefully we’ll get even more fans excited enough to come and watch the games. The aim is to win the league.

jon king julio arca“I came here before the season even started, so they told me all about what they’re looking for and what the ideas are here. It’s a long-term plan, so everything looked exciting.

“I’m really competitive in everything I do, so I want to win every game. That’s how I was like last season playing Sunday League football with my friends.

“I was probably one of the most competitive in the team, because if I’m going to do something, I want to do it right.”

Arca watched South Shields for the first time in their pre-season friendly at Seaham Red Star in July, and was impressed with what he saw.

He is now hoping attendances at Mariners Park – which are currently averaging 325 for league games this season – will rise even further.

Arca added: “Me being here will hopefully help the club. I know South Shields is half Newcastle and half Sunderland, but hopefully the Sunderland fans who saw me playing will follow me here and watch the games. That would be excellent.”

You can watch a feature-length interview with Julio on Mariners TV soon.julio arca