South Shields chairman Geoff Thompson has described the future return of a fervent home crowd as ‘a tantalising prospect’.

The Mariners are once again planning for a new season in the Northern Premier Division, after play-off heartbreak followed by two curtailed seasons since.

Shields were comfortably clear at the top in the 2019/20 campaign but this season had only been able to play nine of their fixtures.

In an update to season ticket holders, chairman Thompson said: “Last month, we received the news that the 2020-21 Pitching In Northern Premier League season had been brought to a premature end. It is news we had been anticipating but that did not make it any less disappointing or frustrating.

“One of the most regrettable aspects of the season was the fact we were unable to play in front of the volume of crowds we have grown accustomed to over the last six years. There have of course been far greater issues for the world to deal with during the last 12 months, but it was upsetting to see 1st Cloud Arena so sparsely filled on those occasions we were able to host games, with non-season-ticket-holders, and indeed many season ticket holders, not able to attend matches due to the restrictions in place.

“Planning for the 2021-22 campaign has already begun and you will have no doubt seen the exciting plans we have for the development of the ground. We have no reason not to believe that next season will start with us playing in front of much larger crowds, which is a tantalising prospect we are planning for with great excitement.”

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