The Robins gearing up for their first warm-up of the new campaign against Blyth Spartans on Saturday have announced more quality additions to their squad.
Prolific striker Dan Smart, who has been rattling in the goals in recent seasons for Birtley Town and Jarrow Roofing, boosts the front runners whilst, defensively, centre-half John Parker who, in 2012, sported the number six shirt for West Auckland in the FA Vase final, adds strength at the back.
Ex Ashington and Bedlington forward Keith Douglas – a 40-goal man in his first year with the Robins – has joined Graham Fenton and Andy Bowman on the management team and will combine his coaching duties with those of again scoring on the pitch.
A duo to leave the Daren Persson stadium are midfielder Paul Watson having clocked up more than 100 appearances in two spells with the Robins who joins Ashington whilst Sean McCafferty, who deputised admirably between the posts when regular keeper Michael Robinson was sidelined, has decided to link up with Bedlington.
Blyth travel along the coast for a 3pm kick off, the sides drew in a 2011 friendly, but the last time Spartans played competitively on Shields soil was in 1991 when Shields triumphed 4-1 after extra time in a Northumberland Senior Cup tie.
Following on Team Northumbria will provide the opposition at Bullocksteads on Saturday, July 13.
Scottish non-league outfit Beith visit Tyneside from Ayrshire on Saturday, July 20 before the Shieldsmen go to Newcastle Benfield on Wednesday, July 24.
Durham City line-up at Ralph Gardner Park on Saturday, July 27 (3pm) with Prudhoe Town coming on Wednesday, July 31 (7.30pm).
Finally Northern Counties East side Hemsworth MW will entertain Fenton’s men on Saturday, August 3 (2pm).