Two Defenders Put Pen To Paper
Gateshead have further strengthened their squad with two defenders signing forms at the International Stadium today.
Former Chelsea starlet Carl Magnay has re-signed for his hometown club while central defender Joe Tait has joined Gateshead from Northern League champions Darlington.
Magnay played 36 games for The Heed last season, predominantly are right back, while Tait was a rock at the heart of the Quakers defence.
The 23-year-old Teessider spent three years at Hartlepool United as a teenager, the last on a professional contract, and captained the club's reserve side.
After that he played three years in America, one as a professional, before returning to England to sign for phoenix club Darlington 1883.
"Gateshead are a big club that has a lot of ambition so it was no brainer to sign and the Darlington manager was very supportive of the move," said Tait.
"It's a big opportunity for me and I'm really looking forward to working with the manager and the coaching staff - I can't wait to get going.
"I had the opportunity to go back to America in January but I decided to stay and finish the job with Darlington, which I'm glad I did.
"I'll work hard and see where that takes me. It's a big step up from the Northern League but I'm looking forward to the challenge and being a big player for Gateshead."
With experienced pair James Curtis and Ben Clark at the heart of the defence manager Anth Smith is delighted to strengthen further in this key position.
"Tait is a player I have monitored and been impressed with," said Smith "he came through the ranks at Hartlepool and has just had a good season with Darlington.
"He is a confident lad who is driven and determined to be successful. He is a committed player and aggressive and at 23 is a good age.
"A few other clubs at our level were looking at him. He is a player I rate highly and one I believe we can further develop."
Magnay, meanwhile, is pleased to get his situation sorted out after completing his first full season at Gateshead.
The 24-year-old spent five years at Chelsea and had brief loan spells at Milton Keynes Dons and Northampton Town before he returned to Tyneside to join Gateshead in 2012.
"It's nice to get it finally sorted," said Magnay "there were bits and bobs we had to get through and I'm now really looking forward to the season ahead.
"I played 36 games last season and wanted that reflected in the new deal and thankfully it has been so I'm grateful to the chairman and the manager for sorting it out.
"My priority was always to stay at Gateshead. It's my hometown club and one that I love and as a Gateshead lad I really want us to do well.
"The signings this time around are very savy. All the players know what the lads coming in are capable of and are impressed with those that have come on board."
Smith is pleased that Magnay, who can also play at the centre of the defence, has re-signed, the Tynesiders having the 7th best defensive record in the league last season.
"Magnay is a valued member of the squad so it is a positive that he has put pen to paper on another contract," said Smith.
"He is a versatile player who did well last season. That was his first full season at right-back and there are big expectations that he will go from strength to strength."
Like all of the Gateshead squad Magnay and Tait have signed one-year contracts, Tait bringing the number of new signings to four with more to come.