Vanarama National League North fan preview

Vanarama National League North fan preview

By Jack McGraghan
31 July
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Gateshead’s Ross Black puts his neck on the line

League sponsors Vanarama have been getting the fans’ perspective ahead of the new season - which kicks off this Saturday.

It’s been a summer of ups and downs – what lies ahead over the next nine months?
We can look forward to a season with backroom stability with fresh ownership as the fan-led consortium push the club forward on and off the pitch. We have a lot of local games to look forward too and I believe we can expect good support at home.

How important is it for you to keep captain and key player Scott Barrow at the club?
Absolutely massive. He just gets what Gateshead is all about, staying loyal to the club two years in a row after all the setbacks we have faced makes him a legend. He can comfortably be the best left-back in the division and could play levels above.

What signing has impressed you the most?

Without the new fan-led consortium, we wouldn’t be here anymore. Just to have a club to support next season is a massive achievement.

What will be the biggest difference from last year?
Playing at a level below after over ten years in the National League will be very different. We will have different expectations as we look to bounce back at the first attempt. Staying full-time is a big bonus and with that comes the expectancy that we haven’t had for a long time.

Which player in your side will make opposing fans jealous?
Greg Olley. I’m amazed a Football League didn’t spot his talent. Last season he was such an underrated part of our team. He could be the key to us getting where we want to be.

Are there any teams certain for a title tilt or promotion?
There are a few teams that have caught my eye. Of course, the standout is York who have made great signings. Spennymoor have been there or thereabouts and with the team they have I think they can really go for the league title this season. Darlington and Boston have also recruited well. It’s going to be a very competitive league!

Which away days are you planning to get to?
There are a few local ones which will bring good away followings so from that perspective it would be those grounds. However, for me it’s got to be Kidderminster. A classic away end terrace with those pies.

If you could take three points from anyone, who would it be?
Blyth Spartans. A lot of fans don’t understand the rivalry, but I got to understand it as a youngster when we played them. As we’ve been above them for so long, the rivalry went a bit stale but the glee some of their fans took in seeing our relegation certainly reignited the fire.

Take your Gateshead cap off for a second – name an opposition player you secretly admire?

Dan Maguire. I was gutted we couldn’t get him in at Gateshead but of course York have huge pulling power. He’s a proven goalscorer at this level and a good goalscorer gets you promotion.

Where will your side be when the season ends next April?
I think we will make it in the play-offs. Just. We need a goalscorer at the time of writing and a few more quality players to add to the squad to really cement our place. But with the players we have brought in and managed to keep from our good season in the National League, I think we can push into the play-offs.

Vanarama, the leading van leasing brand in the UK, have recently launched the National League Club Reward Scheme to help fans back their club’s budget. Every time a fan takes out a brand new van lease with Vanarama or a brand new car lease with Motorama their club will earn £100 and you will receive £30 cashback.

For the latest van leasing deals, head to Vanarama.

For the latest car leasing deals, head to Motorama.

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