North Shields decided not to re-sign keeper Robinson

North Shields keeper Michael Robinson takes a high ball in the 0-0 draw with Durham City. Picture by Ian Warde

North Shields keeper Michael Robinson takes a high ball in the 0-0 draw with Durham City. Picture by Ian Warde

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North Shields have decided not to re-sign their current longest serving player, keeper Michael Robinson.

The stopper, who missed May’s FA Vase final through injury, has made 199 appearances for the Robins – and scored three goals during that spell.

Assistant boss Andy Bowman said the decision had been a tough one.

“Michael needs to concentrate on staying injury free so he can enjoy his football,” said Bowman.

“He has been with us a long time and played a huge part in our recent success.”

The goalkeeper’s three goals came against Pickering Town and at Crook Town and Morpeth Town.

He played in the quarter-final tie in the FA Vase at Erith and Belvedere and in the two semi finals against Highworth Town, but injury prevented him turning out for the milestone 200th time at Wembley in the final.

Chris Bannon, who donned the gloves as Shields triumphed at the home of English football, will again be the last line of defence in the coming months whilst Sean McCafferty has returned to the club and will also be looking at the number one shirt.

North Shields continue their pre-season programme with a trip to Walker Central on Saturday.

The Robins, who were at Spennymoor Town’s Brewery Field on Wednesday evening, will take on the Northern Alliance outfit at 3pm.

Bowman said the players have been “excellent in their early training sessions and are on track with their fitness levels”.

An additional friendly at cross-Tyne rivals South Shields has been slotted in on Wednesday, July 22 (7.30pm) followed by the annual Gary Hull Memorial Trophy match at neighbours Percy Main Amateurs on Saturday, July 25 (3pm).

Following that will be a visit to Team Northumbria on Wednesday, July 29 (7.30pm), but there is no fixture as yet set for Saturday, August 1.

The Shieldsmen’s Northern League first division campaign starts at Guisborough Town on Saturday, August 8, with the first home game at the Daren Persson Stadium against newly promoted Seaham Red Star on Wednesday, August 12.

The Robins’away game at Bedlington Terriers has been moved forward one week to Saturday, September 5, as the club are planning a 12-mile charity walk between the grounds in aid of league chairman Mike Amos’ ‘Last Legs Challenge’.

Meanwhile Kelly, proud mum of brave toddler Hope-Louise Feeney, has thanked everyone who contributed and offered their support when North Shields travelled to Berwick Rangers for a pre-season friendly.

Hope suffers from Neuroblastoma and was the club’s mascot, leading the side out on the day.