Marwood, Gillies and Baxter re-sign

12/05/2011, by Jeff Bowron

Craig BaxterGateshead trio Craig Baxter, Josh Gillies and James Marwood have all put pen to paper today on new deals.

Full back Baxter and wide man Marwood have both signed one-year contracts and Gillies an initial short-term deal.

Baxter has spent the last five seasons at Gateshead while 20-year-old's Gillies and Marwood showed potential in their first season at the International Stadium.

"Craig Baxter has been a regular until this season when he lost his place and then reclaimed it for the final six weeks of the season," said manager Ian Bogie.

"During that time he was arguably our best performer. He was rewarded for his patience and has deserved a contract extension.

"Gillies showed glimpses of what he can do in the latter part of the season and we are looking for him to kick on next season.

"Marwood has blistering pace and the potential to be a very good player. He has to work on certain aspects of his game and look to get a place in the starting line up rather than be used as an impact player."

Former Newcastle United trainee Marwood meanwhile faces a fight to be fit for the start of the season after he broke his ankle in the penultimate home game against Wrexham.

The signings take the number in the 2011/12 squad up to 12, and that will rise to 14 if striker Gary Mulligan and goalkeeper Paul Farman sign initial short-term contracts with a view to earning longer term deals.

If so that would leave Bogie looking to bring in seven new players during the close season, if not then eight or nine new faces will be brought in.

Included in the 2011/12 squad list is midfield man Ashley Winn who has been transfer-listed and as such may not be at the club next season.

A number of potential new recruits have been spoken to this week and Bogie, who took in Newcastle reserves 4-0 win over Blyth Spartans at St.James' Park last night with assistant
Terry Mitchell, is hopeful of a breakthrough in the near future.

"We have identified targets and held discussions with several players," said Bogie "it is still very early in the close season and other players will come on the radar but it would be nice to get a couple through the door early.

"If not then there is no panic as there is no shortage of players looking for new clubs. If we can bring in seven or eight quality additions then we will be in a good position to have a real go at the play-offs next season."

It is intended that the fully contracted professional squad will consist of 20 players, the emphasis on quality rather than quantity.

Gateshead will field three sides next season with the reserves again taking part in the League and the new U.19s side playing in the Football Conference Youth Alliance.