Gateshead complete double signing

Gateshead have taken their number of close season signings to three following the capture of central defender Chris Swailes and young goalkeeper Paul Farman.

The vastly experienced Swailes, who will be 39 in October, played 31 games for Scottish Premier League club Hamilton Academical last season.

The Gateshead-born player previously had two spells at Ipswich Town, the second one a £225,000 transfer from Bury from whom he had joined for a club record of £200,000.

Swailes has also played for Doncaster Rovers, Peterborough United and Oldham Athletic while sampling non-league football earlier in his career at Boston United and Bridlington Town.

Swailes, who interested a number of clubs after leaving Hamilton, including Durham City, is delighted to finally get the chance to play for his hometown club.

"I'm a Gateshead lad and a number of my friends are members of the Heed Army so this is a great move for me, and it would be great to end my career at Gateshead.

"My fitness levels are good and it will be very special to run out at the International Stadium as I was last there about 15 years ago.

"At 38 I have got a lot to offer and am keen to show the Gateshead fans what I can do. I have signed for one season but if it goes well I'd like to think I can play another season.

"Gateshead are a big club. The last two years under Ian Bogie have been fantastic and I don't expect us to struggle in the Blue Square Premier."

Bogie, who has already snapped up Durham City's leading scorer for the past three years, Steven Richardson, is delighted to have added both Swailes and Farman to his squad.

"Swailes has been there and done it while Farman is a young keeper with tremendous potential, and both are good signings for the club," said Bogie.

"Swailes is in great physical shape. His pedigree speaks for itself, and with Paul Musselwhite no longer at the club he will give us vital experience at the back.

"Some people might question his age but he played a lot of games for Hamilton last season, including several against Rangers and Celtic, and still has plenty to offer.

"When I joined my last Football League club as a player, Kidderminster Harriers, a lad there called Barry Horne was 38 and he was the fittest player at the club."

Farman meanwhile made 16 starts and one appearance off the bench during his first season at Blyth Spartans in the Conference North last season.

"I've monitored Farman's progress over the last 18 months in College football and also for Blyth and he is a confident keeper with plenty of ability.

"He is one for the future but he has not been brought in as a number two and I expect him to put pressure on Jim Provett for the number one spot."

Both Swailes and Farman have signed one year deals with a one year option and Bogie is looking to bring in at least five more players with the whole squad put on contract.

By Jeff Bowron