Gateshead clinch first summer signing
Gateshead have clinched their first signing of the summer with former Hartlepool United striker James Brown joining Ian Bogie's squad.
Brown, 25, put pen to paper on a one-year deal at the International Stadium this morning after spending seven years at Pools.
A talented player who can play out wide his promising career at Victoria Park was hampered by cruciate knee injuries in 2005 and 2008.
Back to full fitness the Tynesider played 20 games for Hartlepool last season, 12 off the bench, and made almost 200 appearances for the club.
All of Brown's football has been played in League One but he has no qualms about dropping into non-league football for the first time.
"This was the move I was after from the moment I was released from Hartlepool, and I'm delighted it has come off," said Brown.
"Gateshead being a local professional club was important but the way the side plays was the main attraction.
"Gateshead are a good fooballing side who play the right way and build from the back and it will be nice to be part of that.
"I played under assistant manager Terry Mitchell at Hartlepool and the manager, Ian Bogie, when I was younger and they are great blokes and good coaches.
"I had a pretty much injury free campaign last season. It was just a case of not being picked and having to watch from the bench or the stands which I hate doing.
"I can't wait to get started at Gateshead, work hard to get my place in the team and score a few goals.
"I haven't had a knee injury now for two and a half seasons and to me they are now spot on.
"The club are so close to getting back into the Football League it would be great to be part of the team that gets there."
Brown is a former team-mate of Gateshead captain Ben Clark while Heed playmaker Phil Turnbull was also at Victoria Park.
Bogie meanwhile is delighted to get his first new signing on board with the promise of more to come this week.
"Brown has had a couple of injury setbacks in his career but he's still only 25 and on his own admission probably needs a fresh challenge, " said Bogie.
"He's a player who can play in a two or a three up front and has real talent. He is hungry and we are looking to rejuvenate his career.
"I know he is delighted to come to Gateshead. It wasn't a question of money, it was about getting back on track and enjoying his football.
"He is a high quality player who has been plying his trade in League One and is a great capture for us.
"He has something about him that will excite the fans, he can drop his shoulder and is a technically gifted performer.
"It's only a few years ago that he was touted for a move to a big club and he's shown great mental toughness to come back from his injuries.
"We've now got a front four as good as any in the Conference and there are more quality additions to come."
Photos by Martin Avery.
James Brown in action for Hartlepool United. Photos by Frank Reid, Hartlepool Mail.