With the new season just a month away, Whitley Bay FC have started pre-season training with several new signings.
The new players will replace Kyle Hayes, Paul Robinson, Lee Kerr and LeePaul Scroggins who have departed for pastures new.
Centre midfielder Paul Antony comes to Hillheads from Ashington, where he was a key member of the Colliers’ squad. He has produced impressive performances against Whitley on a number of occasions, including in last season’s Northumberland Senior Cup Final and will be an excellent addition to the squad.
Striker Liam McBryde has been signed from Jarrow Roofing, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the first division last season. He was a prolific scorer and will form an exciting partnership playing alongside Paul Chow, who has now scored 207 goals since joining Whitley six years ago, also from Jarrow.
Maintaining the Jarrow connection, manager Ian Chandler has also announced the signing of Roofing goalkeeper Jonathan Carmichael as replacement for Kyle Hayes.
Most of Whitley’s squad from last season are remaining at the club.
Chris Reid and Craig McFarlane have signed new contracts and among a dozen other players staying at Hillheads are Northern League Young Player of the Year James Fairley, Brad Brooking, James Novak and Chris Fawcett.
Whitley have announced four attractive pre-season friendlies, the first being away to Blyth Spartans on Saturday, July 13.
The first of three home games is on Wednesday, July 17, when Gateshead are the visitors with kick off at 7.30pm.
Saturday, July 20, sees a return fixture with Blyth at Hillheads and a week later, Darlington 1883 provide further good quality opposition for Ian Chandler’s side.
Whitley then take on FA Vase winners Spennymoor Town in the annual Cleator Cup game at Hillheads on Saturday, August 3, with the Northern League season kicking off a week later when Whitley are at home to Dunston UTS.