Gateshead bring in Pools striker Mackay on six month loan

Gateshead have increased their firepower for the coming season with the half season loan of Hartlepool United striker Michael Mackay.

The 26 year old will be in the Tynesiders squad for the opening day clash with Histon at the International Stadium on Saturday.

Mackay was a prolific goalscorer in North East non-league football before he was snapped up by Pools in February 2007.

The quicksilver front man began his career at Birtley Town and then scored 59 goals in two seasons in the Northern League for Durham City.

Moving on to Consett he rattled in a remarkable 43 goals in just over half a season for the Steelmen which secured his move to Hartlepool.

Mackay signed a new deal at Victoria Park in the summer but will ply his trade with Gateshead until January 2nd.

"Gateshead are a club on the up after their promotion last season," said Pools boss Chris Turner "they have a good set up and I'm sure Michael will enjoy being part of things there."

Mackay was in Hartlepool's starting line up for the 2-0 FA Cup win over Premier League club Stoke City in January and has made 25 starts and 35 substitute appearances for the County Durham club.

Mackay will now join Graeme Armstrong, Steven Richardson and Darren Forsyth in the strikers department at the International Stadium.

Manager Ian Bogie is delighted to have brought in a player with proven goalscoring ability before the big kick-off on Saturday.

"Mackay is a player I have admired for some time," said Bogie "he is a striker with good pace who knows where the goal is."

"We tabled a £5,000 bid for him last season but he has since signed a new deal at Hartlepool where he has already made his mark.

"If he can use his time at Gateshead profitably, play well and score goals then it will be a win-win situation for both clubs and the player himself."

The loan signing of Mackay takes Gateshead's squad up to 21 with the club still waiting for international clearance to run the rule over German midfielder Christoph Ascherl.

By Jeff Bowron