Buildbase FA Vase Finalists South Shields have announced that joint-managers Graham Fenton and Lee Picton have signed new two-year contracts with the club.
They are also still in contention for the EBAC Northern League title, sitting seventeen points behind leaders North Shields and they also hold five games in hand on their title rivals.
The club have also applied for promotion to the Evo-Stik NPL First Division North, a promotion they seem likely to achieve with the Northern League’s only other applicants, Bishop Auckland, sat seventeen points behind them.
Now they have rewarded their management team for their good form this season by handing them new two year deals.
Speaking to the club’s official website South Shields FC Managing Director Michael Orr said: “I am delighted to announce that the club has concluded negotiations with Lee and Graham over new contracts to cover the next two seasons.
“Since their joint appointment in early September 2016, the club’s results have been excellent, with only one defeat in their 42 games in charge, and remarkably 33 wins in our last 34 matches.
“During this time, the club has reached three cup finals and still have the league title within their own hands.
“Although no silverware has been won yet, this is the ideal time to recognise their efforts with new contracts.
“Their methods, professionalism and work ethic are, I believe, unprecedented at our current level and they share the club’s goal of moving up the football pyramid at the earliest opportunities.
“I know the playing squad have fully bought into their coaching methods, and that is borne out in the solidarity and camaraderie within the dressing room.
“Having signed new contracts, discussions can now follow with the playing squad over plans for next season and beyond.
“No matter what happens between now and May 21, it has been a brilliant year for South Shields FC and I am sure today marks the start of even more exciting times to come.”
Picton, winner of the FA Vase as a player with Whitley Bay said “We’re over the moon to sign the new contracts.
“Anybody that has been near this football club can see what progress has been made, and hopefully will continue to be made on and off the field.
“It’s a fantastic place to be and be a part of.
“Myself and Graham are incredibly excited about the next two years ahead, which is what we’ve signed up to, and hopefully we can go beyond that.
“The initial focus is on the next two years. We’ve had a lot of success so far this season and hopefully that will continue.”
Graham Fenton, an FA Vase winning manager in his time with North Shields, commented “Geoff Thompson and Michael Orr have been really supportive since we came into the club, and have backed every decision we’ve made.
“We’re delighted to be working with them and everyone involved at the club for another two years.
“It has been a fantastic six or seven months, and we’re really looking forward to the next couple of years.
“The ultimate goal is to go promotion, promotion, promotion within the three seasons, including this one.
“With that, there’s a lot of pressure and expectation.
“We set high standards, and we’ll be setting targets at the start of next season.
“That’s the ultimate goal, but we have to see what happens this season first and then take it from there.”
The Mariners head to Ryhope CW in their latest Northern League fixture on Saturday, with title rivals North Shields facing an away fixture at reigning champions Shildon.
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Peter Talbot (South Shields FC)