Ex-Premier League defender Mike Williamson has agreed a one year deal at Gateshead.
The 34-year-old played 150 league games for Newcastle United, the majority of which came in the Premier League, and he has since represented Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oxford United. Williamson has been training with Gateshead for the past few weeks and turned out for the Tynesiders in their pre-season friendly with Blyth Spartans.
The ex-Watford and Wycombe Wanderers player was at the Heed’s home win over Salford City this week and manager Steve Watson was delighted to get Williamson signed up:
“As much as we’ve built and progressed over the summer we still haven’t been able to add that bit of experience and Mike certainly brings that. It’s massive experience that he brings to the club, having played at the highest level.
“As I’ve said, I’ve tried to build a squad full of the right characters and Mike is certainly one of those. He’s a very intelligent lad and is looking at going further in the game, he helps us out on and off the pitch and is still a hell of a player.
“When you’ve got games like Dover, Sutton, teams like that you need to stand up to the physical battle and he brings that to the side.
“I explained to him how we’ve had our backs to the wall all summer, how we’ve built a young hungry squad and Mike bought into that straight away. He was committed to living in Newcastle with his family long before we spoke, he’s got a lot of ties up here and it works out well for both parties.
“I know Mike has had offers from elsewhere over the summer and he’s certainly not here for any other reason, he wants to play for the football club. He believes in the process and what we’re trying to do, the only reason it hasn’t been done earlier was to get him playing competitive football as he hasn’t for a while.
“He’s been patient, he hasn’t demanded to sign, I like the way he’s gone about things and I think he’ll enjoy it here.”
Williamson is available for selection for tomorrow’s match at home to Dover Athletic at the International Stadium.