Smith Contract Extended
Gateshead manager Anth Smith has been handed a new one-year contract to cover the 2013/14 Conference Premier season.
Smith took over from Ian Bogie in December after previously being in charge of the club's youth and reserve sides.
The 41-year-old faced a baptism of fire due to pitch problems which meant he took charge of only one game at the International Stadium.
The former Sunderland defender's initial contract was until the end of the season just ended but that has now been extended by chairman Graham Wood.
"Anth came in with 24 games to go and he's had to play 23 of them away from Gateshead so it has been a real baptism of fire for him." said Wood.
"The fact we finished 17th speaks volume for him. He has done a tremendous job, absolutely tremendous, in very difficult circumstances.
"I have had a meeting with him and we have outlined targets we want to bring to the club during the close season.
"I am confident that Anth is the man to take us forward. It is important we move forward next season after what has been the season from hell.
"He certainly deserved another chance. We were on a downward spiral when he took over and he has turned it around despite so many things being against him.
"He is on the right track and has a big future ahead of him and we will be looking to assemble a strong squad that will be pushing at the right end of the table.
"The joint objective is to get Gateshead back into the Football League and into a new stadium in the town and that remains very much the case."
Smith, meanwhile, is delighted to be given a full season to prove himself and is confident about Gateshead;so prospects for the 2013/14 campaign which begins on August 10th.
"I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to put this season to bed and be given the chance to take Gateshead forward next season," said Smith.
"It has been a massive learning curve with everything that has been thrown at us and getting back to playing at the International Stadium again will be key.
"It is our home ground and next season we will have home advantage in half of our games which is something we didn't have this season.
"There are some big clubs in the Blue Square Bet Premier which is a very competitive league, but there is nothing to fear.
"We showed we can compete with the best but need to be more consistent. We have good players at the club and the ground work has started to bring some new faces in."
The club will continue to run reserve and youth sides next season with 16 new ITS players coming in.
"We will continue to build the infrastructure of the club and it is important that we have North East lads who want to play for Gateshead."