WHITLEY Bay FC manager Ian Chandler is quick to reassure fans all is well at the club amidst the recent departures of key players and management.
And the latest change sees a familiar face return to Hillheads in the form of striker Phill Bell.
Bell left for Ashington in October last year in a deal that saw Glen Taylor sign for the Bay.
But the striker re-signed for Whitley Bay on Monday night in a move that will see him return to his ‘home’ club for the third time.
He said: “‘I’m delighted to be re-signing for Whitley Bay for what is my third time.
“It is the club I consider as my ‘home’ team and look forward to enjoying more success with them over the coming seasons.
“I’d like to thank all the staff and supporters at Ashington FC for making my time there so enjoyable and in all honesty if it wasn’t Whitley Bay I’d have stayed at Ashington without hesitation.
“However, when I became aware of Whitley’s interest it was too inviting a proposition to turn down given my past experience with them and now I can’t wait to get back involved and contribute to another exciting push for honours next season.”
Chandler believes Bell is returning to Whitley at his best after his spell with the Colliers and is confident he will be an asset to the squad.
He said: “He went to Ashington in a swap with Glen Taylor and it’s probably what Phill needed, going away and proving himself, so much so that I wanted him back. He is back to his best.
“He got a bit frustrated and a bit stale because he was not playing as regularly, but that little change has opened his eyes and my eyes as to what he is all about.”
Acquiring new players to the record breaking squad hasn’t been as easy a task as some might expect for the manager, and Chandler has been surprised at one or two knock backs from players.
He said: “There are a couple of players who are terrified of coming to Whitley Bay because the expectation is too much for them, and so they have gone elsewhere.
“You would think players would always want to go to the best, and then if it doesn’t work at least you have tried, it’s been quite surprising.”