By Daniel Prince
Lee McMahon says he is excited by the challenge at Mariners Park after the Hebburn Town captain opted to join South Shields.
The former Jarrow Roofing, Ryhope CW and Washington midfielder, from Boldon, has already set his sights on silverware at Shields.
And below, the 26-year-old explains the reasoning behind his decision to join the club and his hopes for the season ahead.
Q: Welcome to South Shields, Lee. What made you take the decision to join the club?
A: The main reason I decided to come here was because it was a new challenge, and an exciting one.
I’m hoping to help Shields get back into the First Division of the Northern League.
I had two years at Hebburn, and was made captain towards the end of the first season.
It was a very tough decision to make to leave them, as there is a really good set of lads there and I get along really well with the management team.
It was a hard choice, because I really enjoyed my two years at Hebburn. Scott Oliver and Dave Bell were very good to me.
I was just excited by this challenge, though, and eventually I decided to come to Shields because of the ambition of the club.
Q: You touched on it a bit there, but what do you want to achieve at the club?
A: My main hope is to help the club get back into the First Division and win things. We’re going to try to win the league.
We’ve got some very good players already, and I’m looking forward to it.
Q: What can fans expect to see from you?
A: I’d like to think I’m good on the ball and have a good passing range.
I play in central midfield, but I can also play out wide.
I like to push the lads on, and I think there are a few leaders in the dressing room already. Leepaul Scroggins and Daryll Hall are both captains.
I’ve been playing in the Northern League since I was 19, so I’ve got some good experience under my belt.
Q: What are your memories of South Shields as an opposition player?
A: I’ve only played at Mariners Park during my time at Jarrow Roofing.
I remember from then that the fans here are very good, and hopefully we’ll get strong support next season.
I came up against Shields twice for Hebburn last season, and they were unlucky at our place.
We (Hebburn) were 2-0 up and thought we were cruising, but Shields showed great spirit to come back and draw 2-2.
At Peterlee they were unlucky as well, with Hebburn earning a tight 1-0 win.
Q: Last season, you went very close to promotion at Hebburn. Has that near-miss made you even more determined to go one better this time?
A: We did go very close last season, and it was probably October which cost us, because we dropped a lot of points in that month.
I’m looking forward to getting started again now.
I’ve had almost a month and a half off now, so I’m eager to get back into football on Saturdays again.
We’re going to be under pressure. Every game is going to be a cup final, because everyone is going to see us as a team to beat.
Q: You could make your debut for the club against Darlington in pre-season. That must be a game that excites you?
A: The Darlington game is going to be a really good test for us, and it will be up to us to prove ourselves in pre-season.
You can see Lee and his new team-mates in action 21 times in the league next season at Mariners Park by purchasing a season ticket! For enquiries, please call 0191 537 2633, and for full details, follow the link: Season tickets – 2015-16
By Daniel Prince. Main picture: Wayne Phillips.
South Shields are pleased to confirm Wayne Phillips and Lee McMahon have agreed to join the club from Jarrow Roofing and Hebburn Town respectively.
Left-winger Phillips, 29, brings great experience to Mariners Park, having enjoyed spells with the likes of Gateshead, Harrogate Town, Spennymoor Town, Whitley Bay and Blyth Spartans.
He won the Northern League and FA Vase during his time at Spennymoor.
Phillips said: “I spoke to (manager) Jon King and he told me all the plans for the club, and that persuaded me to join.
“The biggest factor for the club was getting back into the town, and it’s exciting to be a part of.
“The only thing which made me think twice about coming to the club was the fact I’d be dropping to the Second Division.
“However, having seen the plans of the club and then the very good First Division players that have already come in, I’m confident this is the right decision.
“I’ve lived in South Shields for 15 years, so it will be great to now play for the club. I only live five minutes away from the ground.
“That’s another positive factor about moving here. For most of my career in non-league, I’ve had to do a lot of travelling, but this is on my doorstep.”
The former Jarrow Roofing, Ryhope CW and Washington midfielder said: “I had two years at Hebburn, and was made captain towards the end of the first season.
“It was a very tough decision to make to leave them, as there is a really good set of lads there and I get along really well with the management team.
“Eventually, though, I decided to come to Shields because of the ambition of the club.
“This is a new challenge for me, and an exciting one. I’m really looking forward to it.”
*You can read full interviews with both players later on Tuesday on the website*
You can see Wayne, Lee and their new team-mates in action 21 times in the league next season at Mariners Park by purchasing a season ticket! For enquiries, please call 0191 537 2633, and for full details, follow the link: Season tickets – 2015-16