Gateshead back in training
Gateshead manager Ian Bogie was pleased to have his squad back on the training ground today and has challenged each player to earn his place in the side ahead of the first game of the season.
Bogie is hoping his side can continue to climb non-league's top table and strive towards the ultimate aim of a return to the Football League.
Bogie said: "It's always great to be back training. After two or three weeks recovery professional footballers are itching to get back. The last game was at the end of April so they've had eight weeks off and ample time to recharge the batteries".
"We're looking forward to the new campaign and the work starts today. We've got six weeks pre-season training ahead of us, including a training camp in Cumbria, to prepare for the big kick-off on the 13th August."
"As a professional footballer it's dog eat dog. You're striving to be better than the team-mate next to you and there has to be a competitive edge in the squad."
Bogie is also hoping the Tynesider's can improve on last season's respectable 14th place league finish and mount a play-off push.
"In my tenure as manager we've progressed every season whether it be a couple of promotions or our first season in the Conference Premier when we had to scrap for our lives to stay up."
"Last season we really consolidated and looked an established side at this level. We're confident we can improve on that next season."
New signings Sam Rents, Yemi Odubade, Eddie Odhiambo and Micky Cummins all attended their first training session and Bogie is confident of adding more new arrivals to his squad before the season begins.
"We've a few new signings alongside the bulk of last years squad and are looking strong. With the addition of two or three extra players we'll be fully fit and ready for the new campaign."
"We have one or two trialists in as well and it is up to players like Chris Moore, who was at Darlington last season and never had the rub of the green, to impress."
"Also, Kyle Nix is here. An established player from Mansfield Town who has played in the Football League for Bradford City and is again a highly experienced performer."
"We've also brought in a young lad from Scotland, Ewan Moyes, who has been at Hibernian and is a centre half. It is up to these players to force my hand to say, I'm worth a contract at the club."
Moyes, 20, a nephew of Everton boss David Moyes, has already racked up over 60 Scottish League appearances after spells on loan at Brechin City and Arbroath and also spent time on trial with League Two side Crewe Alexandra at the end of last season.
Nix, 25, made 56 appearances for Bradford City and 40 for Mansfield after beginning his career with Manchester United followed by spells at the academies of Aston Villa and Sheffield United.
Gateshead's first pre-season friendly is against top League One outfit Huddersfield Town at the International Stadium next Saturday, July 9th. Kick-off 3:00 p.m.
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Ashley Winn
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Craig Baxter
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Eddie Odhiambo
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Gary Mulligan
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Ian Bogie
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - James Curtis and Ben Clark
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Jon Shaw
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Phil Turnbull
Gateshead FC Pre-Season 2011 - Yemi Odubade. Photos by Martin Avery.