Luke Daly is to leave South Shields after the difficult decision was made not to offer the midfielder a new deal ahead of the 2021-22 season. 

Daly made 21 competitive appearances for the club after joining from Droylsden in January 2019.

He caught the eye with his energetic and wholehearted displays before earning his place in the affections of Shields supporters with a dramatic late winning goal against Scarborough Athletic just three months into his time at 1st Cloud Arena.

Sadly, two serious knee injuries meant Daly was denied the opportunity to build on the impressive start he made to his Shields career and saw him miss almost two years of action.

He is now back in full training and played in two behind-closed-doors matches over recent weeks as his progress was examined ahead of the expiration of his contract.

South Shields manager Graham Fenton said: “We’ve been closely monitoring Luke and have ultimately come to the conclusion that we’re not able to offer him a deal to stay with us next season.

“It was a very difficult decision to make but we felt it was the correct call based on a lot of factors.

“At the moment, we wouldn’t foresee Luke impacting the first-team for quite a significant period of time yet.

“We realise that he has been through an extremely difficult period with his injury and his recovery has been hampered by the Covid situation, which has meant it has taken him a lot longer than would otherwise be expected to get up to speed.

“Because of that, Luke’s journey at the club has sadly come to an end, for the moment at least.

“You never know what is around the corner in football though and we know Luke is a very good player who has the potential to go somewhere and perform exceptionally well over the next 12 to 24 months.

“If that happens we could be picking up the phone to him again in the future but this is a club which demands success immediately and we just feel Luke isn’t quite ready to perform at the level required yet.

“We’d like to thank him for all of his efforts here. He has been a fantastic young person and player to work with and we wish him all the best for the future, wherever that may be.”

We have a matchday mascot package to give away as part of the SSFC Advent Calendar – but you’ll have to be quick to be in with a chance of winning!

Over the last four days, we’ve been asking a series of questions as part of this competition.

To enter, you need to answer the following questions correctly, and submit them before 9am on Thursday via email to info@southshieldsfc.co.uk

1. Ross Coombe made his league debut for Shields against Radcliffe last December. What was the final score that day?

2. Which famous Dutch club did Wouter Verstraaten spend most of his junior football days with?

3. The South Shields Academy reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup last season. Who did they play in round three?

4. Which year did Shields sign Luke Daly?

Good luck everyone, and remember to submit your answers via email.

Look out for more competitions in the coming days!

It’s Day Sixteen of the SSFC Advent Calendar – and you now have the chance to enter the competition to win a matchday mascot package.

Today’s feature is kicked off by Luke Daly, who delivers his message for supporters in the tweet below.

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 latest item up for grabs is a matchday mascot package.

You have until 9am on Thursday to submit all of your four answers together via email to info@southshieldsfc.co.uk.

The first question was: Ross Coombe made his league debut for Shields against Radcliffe last December. What was the final score that day?

The second question was: Which famous Dutch club did Wouter Verstraaten spend most of his junior football days with?

The third question was: The South Shields Academy reached the third round of the FA Youth Cup last season. Who did they play in round three?

Today’s question is: Which year did Luke Daly join South Shields in?

Later on Wednesday, we will announce the winner of a Women’s Mullein or Men’s Penton Quilted Jacket courtesy of our sponsors Barbour. We would like to thank Barbour for their continued support.

We are also currently highlighting our fourth charity of the month, the Customs House.

The Customs House is synonymous with South Shields as the breeding ground of some of the area’s brightest entertainment talent, and offers entertainment to all.

To find out more about the Customs House, click here. To donate financially, click here.

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.

Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for Day Seventeen – and the launch of another competition – tomorrow!