Jon Shaw has been appointed as captain of South Shields for the 2018-19 season.
The position became vacant after Julio Arca opted to retire from football earlier this month. Joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton have now handed the armband to Shaw, who was last season’s vice-captain and is preparing for his third campaign with the club.
Shaw said: “I’m very happy and mostly proud to be named captain of a great club with amazing support. I’ve got to thank Lee and Graham for the opportunity.
“I have had a fantastic first two years at the club with plenty of success, and hopefully that will continue this year and beyond. We’re heading into an exciting season with big tests, but we have got a fantastic bunch of players who have dealt with pressure well, and there is a belief we can have even more success.
“Being captain is something I’ve enjoyed doing every now and again since joining, and now I can’t wait to get back, get started and see what we can achieve next season.”
Shaw joined Shields in the summer of 2016 after leaving National League side Gateshead, who he had served with distinction across three spells. The 34-year-old started his career with hometown club Sheffield Wednesday and went on to play for the likes of Burton Albion, Rochdale, Luton Town and Gateshead.
Since signing for the Mariners, Shaw has displayed superb leadership qualities, and has been a key part of a team which has won five trophies and two promotions across the last two seasons. He has also made a successful transition from striker to centre-back, and is looking ahead to his next challenge next season in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
The management team felt Shaw was the ideal candidate to fill Arca’s shoes as captain.
Fenton said: “We’ve offered the captaincy to Jon Shaw. We think he’s the natural replacement for Julio after being vice-captain last season.
“Jon’s a great character to have around and sets really high standards for everyone around him, which is what you’re looking for from your captain. Jon is more than happy to take the role on.”
Picton, meanwhile, paid tribute to Arca, who established himself as a club legend during his three seasons at Mariners Park.
He said: “You can’t over-estimate the impact Julio has had on this football club in the last three years. From our perspective, he has been an absolute privilege to work with, a top player and if it’s even possible, an even better human being.
“It was quite emotional when we took the news from Julio that he was retiring, and it took a little while to process. I want to go on record and say that Julio has been an absolutely unbelievable asset for this football club.
“We’re looking at ways a little bit down the line of how we can keep him involved at the club, because his qualities extend way beyond his playing attributes on the pitch. We just want to thank Julio for everything that he has done on and off the pitch here at South Shields Football Club, because he has become a true legend of this club and that title is worthy of someone like him.”