First Team Squad

Gateshead FC 2015-16

Coaching Staff
Neil Aspin
 Neil Aspin
Sponsors:
  • Graham S.Wood
Lee Nogan
 Lee Nogan
Sponsors:
  • Graham S.Wood

Neil Aspin - Manager

Date of Birth:
12/04/1965 (age 51)
Previous Clubs:
Harrogate Town, FC Halifax Town
Sponsors:
Graham S.Wood

First-Team Manager

Aspin was appointed manager of his hometown club in November 2015, six weeks after leaving FC Halifax Town. He turned out for the likes of Leeds United and Port Vale as a player, making over 400 appearances for the latter. He began his managerial career with Harrogate Town in 2005, guiding the club to a series of top-half finishes in the then Conference North. He was appointed Halifax boss in 2009, leading the Shaymen to back-to-back promotions before finishing fifth in their first season back in the top-flight of the non-league game.

 

Lee Nogan - Assistant Manager

Date of Birth:
21/05/1969 (age 47)
Previous Clubs:
Whitby Town, FC Halifax Town
Sponsors:
Graham S.Wood

Assistant Manager

Nogan was confirmed as assistant to boss Neil Aspin 24 hours on from the latter's appointment. The 46-year-old worked alongside Aspin at FC Halifax Town, joining up with the Shaymen in 2011. A forward by trade, Nogan made over 100 appearances for Watford between 1991 and 1995, and also turned out for the likes of Oxford United, Reading and York City. He went on to spend almost 18 months in charge of Whitby Town, before returning to the Turnbull Ground as a player.

 
Micky Cummins
 Micky Cummins
Sponsors:
Stephen Pears
 Stephen Pears
Sponsors:

Micky Cummins - Coach

Date of Birth:
01/06/1978 (age 38)
Previous Clubs:
Middlesbrough, Port Vale, Darlington, Rotherham United, Grimsby Town

Reserve/U19 Team Manager

Cummins was placed in charge of the Heed's re-formed reserve side ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, and guided the second-string to an impressive second-placed finish in the Final Third Development League's East Division. This time out, he is also at the helm of the U19 side, who compete across two separate fronts. As a player, he turned out for Port Vale, Darlington, Grimsby Town, and - finally - Gateshead. A midfielder by trade, Cummins also represented the Republic of Ireland at U21 level.

 

Stephen Pears - Coach

Date of Birth:
22/01/1962 (age 54)
Previous Clubs:
Middlesbrough (coach), Hartlepool United (coach)

Goalkeeping Coach

Pears joined the club as part-time goalkeeping coach in the summer of 2015, reunited with then Heed boss Malcolm Crosby. As a player, he made over 400 appearances for Middlesbrough between 1985 and 1995, having begun his career at Manchester United. A short spell at Liverpool followed his time at Ayresome Park, before a move to Hartlepool United in 1996. Pears worked alongside Crosby during their time together on the backroom staff at Middlesbrough, before a return to Victoria Park in 2014 – where he was named as Pools’ assistant manager.

 
Goalkeepers
Sam Russell1
 Sam Russell
Sponsors:
  • Tony Carter
Shaun MacDonald13
 Shaun MacDonald
Sponsors:
  • DETS

1. Sam Russell - Goalkeeper

Date of Birth:
04/10/1982 (age 33)
Previous Clubs:
Middlesbrough, Darlington, Scunthorpe United (loan), Rochdale, Wrexham, Forest Green Rovers
Sponsors:
Tony Carter

33-year-old Russell first figured between the sticks for the Heed back in 2002, while on loan from hometown club Middlesbrough. After failing to make a senior appearance on Teesside, Russell moved to Darlington in 2004, clocking up over 100 games for the then fourth-tier outfit. Briefer spells with Rochdale and Wrexham followed, before the stopper returned to the Quakers in 2010. Russell completed 90 minutes at Wembley as Darlo lifted the FA Trophy in 2011, but left to join Forest Green the following year. In June 2015, Russell was confirmed as Malcolm Crosby’s first signing as Gateshead manager.

 

13. Shaun MacDonald - Goalkeeper

Date of Birth:
20/10/1996 (age 19)
Sponsors:
DETS

Youngster MacDonald signed first-team terms with the Tynesiders in the summer of 2015, having played a handful of games for the club’s U19 side last season. The teenage stopper impressed in the Heed’s narrow friendly defeat to Newcastle United in July.

 
Defenders
Ben Clark6
 Ben Clark
Sponsors:
  • Weardale Motor Services

6. Ben Clark - Defence

Date of Birth:
23/01/1983 (age 33)
Previous Clubs:
Manchester United, Sunderland, Hartlepool United
Sponsors:
Weardale Motor Services

A former Manchester United trainee, Clark was a major signing for the Heed following his release from Hartlepool United in 2010. Born in Consett, the centre-half signed for Sunderland after leaving Old Trafford as a teenager, going on to make a handful of senior appearances for the Black Cats. A successful six-year spell with the Victoria Park outfit followed, before he penned a two-year deal on Tyneside, scooping the club’s Player of the Year award in his maiden season.

 
Midfielders
Josh Gillies10
 Josh Gillies
Sponsors:
  • Modular
Gus Mafuta12
 Gus Mafuta
Sponsors:

10. Josh Gillies - Midfield

Date of Birth:
12/06/1990 (age 26)
Previous Clubs:
Sunderland Nissan, Newcastle Blue Star, Blyth Spartans, Whitley Bay, Carlisle United, Cambridge United (loan), FC Halifax Town (loan)
Sponsors:
Modular

Gillies returned to the International Stadium on permanent terms in June, following a two-year spell at Carlisle United. Born in Sunderland, the tricky winger originally joined the Heed in the summer of 2010, having ended the previous campaign with a fruitful stint at Whitley Bay, where he featured – and scored – in the FA Vase final at Wembley. Gillies went on to emerge as a first-team regular for the Tynesiders, clocking up over a century of appearances before his switch to Brunton Park. The 25-year-old scored once in 12 outings during his stay at Cumbria, which was interspersed with loan spells at Cambridge United, FC Halifax Town, and – last season – Gateshead. He made a further five appearances after joining in March, before being offered a permanent contract by new manager Malcolm Crosby.

 

12. Gus Mafuta - Midfield

Date of Birth:
11/06/1995 (age 21)
Previous Clubs:
Colchester United, Bristol City, Nuneaton Town (loan)

Powerful midfielder Mafuta agreed a short-term deal at the International Stadium in September, following a successful trial period. The former Colchester United trainee captained Bristol City’s U21 side in the 2013-14 campaign, before being released by the Robins this summer. He joined Nuneaton Town on loan in January, emerging as a key figure in the Boro’s relegation fight, only for an injury to cut his season short.

 
Adam Wrightson24
 Adam Wrightson
Sponsors:
Paddy McLaughlin26
 Paddy McLaughlin
Sponsors:

24. Adam Wrightson - Midfield

Date of Birth:
16/12/1996 (age 19)

The diminutive winger has made a real impact for the Heed since making his first-team bow in October. A product of the club’s link-up with Gateshead College, Wrightson caught the eye for the Heed’s U19 side early into the 2015-16 campaign. Since making his debut in an FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round defeat to Worcester City, the 19-year-old has already chipped in with a number of assists.

 

26. Paddy McLaughlin - Midfield

Date of Birth:
14/01/1991 (age 25)
Previous Clubs:
Newcastle United, York City, Grimsby Town, Harrogate Town (loan)

Former Northern Irish U21 international McLaughlin secured a one-year deal with the Tynesiders in July, following a successful trial period. The Larne-born midfielder began his career with Newcastle United, but was released by the Magpies in 2011. A two-year spell with York City followed, with McLaughlin almost an ever-present as the Minstermen secured a return to the Football League in his maiden campaign at Bootham Crescent. Despite making another 33 appearances the following season, he was allowed to leave for Grimsby Town in the summer of 2013 – remaining at Blundell Park until May, when he was released following the Mariners’ Vanarama Conference play-off final defeat to Bristol Rovers.

 
Forwards
Ryan Bowman19
 Ryan Bowman
Sponsors:
  • Gateshead FC Supporters Club
Danny Johnson20
 Danny Johnson
Sponsors:
  • Washington Badge

19. Ryan Bowman - Forward

Date of Birth:
30/11/1991 (age 24)
Previous Clubs:
Carlisle United, Workington (loan), Darlington, Hereford United, York City, Torquay United
Sponsors:
Gateshead FC Supporters Club

Bowman signed for the Tynesiders in the summer of 2015, joining for a five-figure fee from Torquay United. The frontman began his career with hometown club Carlisle United, making a handful of first-team appearances before linking up with Darlington in 2011, where he netted 11 goals in a season-long stay. A fruitful campaign with Hereford United followed, before Bowman signed for League Two side York City. He spent a season with the Minstermen before swapping Bootham Crescent for Plainmoor, where he struck 18 goals in 44 appearances.

 

20. Danny Johnson - Forward

Date of Birth:
28/02/1993 (age 23)
Previous Clubs:
Real Murcia B, Harrogate Town, Billingham Synthonia, Guisborough Town, Cardiff City, Tranmere Rovers (loan), Stevenage (loan)
Sponsors:
Washington Badge

Johnson agreed a one-year deal on Tyneside ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, following his release by Championship outfit Cardiff City. The frontman was on the books at both Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United as a youngster, before going on to enjoy a spell with Spanish second-tier side Real Murcia. A prolific year with Guisborough Town followed, where Johnson struck 59 goals in 55 appearances. He moved to Wales a season ago, taking in loan spells with Tranmere Rovers and Stevenage as the campaign progressed.

 

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