Gateshead sign giant French striker

Gateshead have signed giant French striker Armand One two hours before the transfer window closed today.

The powerfully built 6' 5" front man has joined the Tynesiders after he secured his release from an 18 month contract at troubled Scottish club Livingston.

The 26 year old's career began at Nantes in his native France before a £30,000 transfer took him to Cambridge United in 2001.

Short spells at Northampton Town and Wrexham followed and Armand has since played for four Scottish clubs: Partick Thistle, Cowdenbeath,  Raith Rovers and latterly Livingston.

Before joining Livingston earlier this year One spent two seasons at Finnish club TPs Turku where he scored eight goals in 32 appearances.

The Paris-born front man will spearhead the Gateshead attack in Saturday's home game against Hayes & Yeading United at the International Stadium and is keen to get his career on Tyneside underway.

"I've always wanted to return to England to play and Gateshead will be a new challenge for me," said One "I'm looking forward to getting started against Hayes & Yeading on Saturday.

"I have signed initially until the end of the year but if it goes well I would be delighted to sign a longer deal, and that is the aim."

Powerfully built as well as being a towering striker One, who scored on his Livingston debut in January, believes there is more to his game than just an aerial threat.

"I am a big guy who will bring a physical presence to the attack," he said "but there is more to my game than headers and I can be skilful when given the opportunity.

"My fitness levels are good even though I haven't played for Livingston since the opening day of the season as they have dropped two divisions and have brought in a new manager.

"I am looking forward to getting back to playing on a regular basis and after a couple of training sessions with my new team-mates this week will be raring to go on Saturday."

One becomes Gateshead's fifth striker, four of them new signings, and manager Ian Bogie is confident the Frenchman will add a new dimension to the attack.

"We've got good technical players but have lacked a physical presence and cutting edge this season so hopefully One will give us both.

"He is a big lad who has gained good experience in both England and Scotland and will be keen to make an impression at Gateshead.

"If he does that over the next four months we'll move it forward and bring a longer contract to the table.

"The intention was always to bring in another striker before the transfer window closed. I'm delighted to have done that and we now have to make sure we pick up more wins in the Conference National."

By Jeff Bowron