Francis joins Blyth Spartans on loan

Young Gateshead midfielder Alex Francis has joined Blue Square North club Blyth Spartans on a one month loan.

The 19 year old Gateshead-born player has been limited to seven starts this season where he has been a regular on the subs bench.

"Francis is one of a number of players who will benefit by going out on loan and getting some games under his belt," said manager Ian Bogie.

"We have a lot of midfield players at the club and this has increased this week with the signing of Clark Keltie on loan from Rochdale.

"A number of other players are available on loan, some on a permanent transfer, as we look to strengthen the squad as it is crucial we stay in the Blue Square Premier."

Blyth manager Mick Tait is aware of Francis's quality and potential having watched the player's development at Academy and college level.

"Francis has a lot of attributes and a good future in the game," said Tait "he was part of Gateshead's promotion squad last season and I am confident he will do a good job during his month at Croft Park."

Gateshead meanwhile will not allow Francis to become cup-tied in the FA Trophy so the former England Colleges player will sit out Blyth's FA Trophy 1st round clash with Ilkeston Town on December 12th.

By Jeff Bowron