Non League Daily

Duo Return To Gateshead

Anth Smith, manager of Conference Premier club Gateshead, has added two more players to his squad - and both are familiar faces.

Attacking midfield man James Marwood (pictured), who has played 82 games for the club, has put to pen to paper after he rejected an offer earlier in the summer.

The manager's brother Dan Smith, meanwhile, has returned to the club after he made 12 appearances during the 2008/09 Conference North promotion campaign.

Both Smith and Marwood have signed one-year deals and the manager believes both can make an impact.

"Marwood has come back in and hit the ground running," said Smith. "We gave him a challenge which he has taken and I am pleased he has re-signed.

"He has natural pace and is technically good. We are aware what his skill set is and we'll be looking to add one or two things to his game.

"If he can be consistent he has the ability to step into Josh Gillies' footsteps and he can really kick on this season."

Smith also believes Dan Smith, 15 years his junior, will offer real competition for the left-back spot.

Smith junior has played in the top flight of the game in both England and Scotland with hometown club Sunderland and Aberdeen as well as playing on loan at Huddersfield Town.

After leaving Gateshead four years ago his career has stalled and he has since plied his trade in the local Ebac Northern League for four different clubs.

"He has slotted straight in and has not looked out of place in pre-season," said Anth Smith. "And as he gets fitter and stronger it will bring the best out of him.

"He has been out of the professional game for several years but he has a quality left foot and I am confident I can get the best out of him."

For his part, Dan Smith is determined to make the most of his second opportunity at Gateshead.

"I'm obviously delighted to be back," he said. "I've got the chance to show what I can do and thankful for the second chance to prove myself.

"The club has come on leaps and bounds since I was last here. The Conference Premier is a higher level but it is one that I can adapt to.

"Luke O'Brien has been brought in from Oxford United in the summer and he's a good player but I will play as well as I can and look to put pressure on him."

Former Newcastle United trainee Marwood, meanwhile, is pleased to be starting his fourth year on the opposite side of the Tyne.

"I turned down the deal I was offered at the start of the summer so I'm absolutely delighted to now put pen to paper," said Marwood.

"I had interest from other Conference Premier and Conference North clubs but I always wanted to stay at Gateshead if I could.

"The management gave me a chance last season and I want to repay their faith. They have given me confidence and always urge me to express myself on the pitch.

"I always had goals in my game before I first joined Gateshead and while my assists ratio was decent last season I want to score more goals."

The 23-year-old has already scored beauties from outside the box in pre-season against Partick Thistle and Barrow, and believes the squad is looking strong.

"During my three years at Gateshead we have not had the strength in depth we have got this season and the manager has done well in the transfer market.

"I want to contribute to a good season whether in the hole in a diamond formation or as an attacking player in a 4-3-3 and I'm confident we will do well."

YTS products Lewis Galpin, Callum Patton and Luke Carr, meanwhile, will start the season on loan at Ebac Northern League club West Auckland Town.

> Jeff Bowron /


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