Gateshead Football Club are delighted to announce former Blyth Spartans defender Alex Nicholson’s as Mike Williamson’s first new summer signing.

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The full-back signs a one-year deal at the International Stadium and arrives with National League North experience under his belt, having spent last season plying his trade at Croft Park.

The 25-year-old began his career in the youth setup at Newcastle United, before spells at Preston North End and Chorley preceded his initial spell at Blyth Spartans from 2014 to 2016.

Nicholson made over 100 appearances for the club before joining South Shields in December 2016, where he went on to lift the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium in 2017.

“I’m over the moon,” the Tyneside native told Gateshead-FC.com.

“As soon as Ian and Mike spoke to me about what they were wanting to do, and the opportunity they’ve given me to come in full-time, I didn’t really think elsewhere.

“To have the opportunity to go back to full-time at a local club, I think it came at the right time.

“I’m delighted to get it done.”

Nicholson is man Watson knows well with the pair having previously played together at Croft Park, and the former says that played a part in making the move to Gateshead.

“I’ve worked with Ian before, playing and when he’s been around the coaching side of things so he was the first point of contact with me,” he continued.

“Mike has obviously been there at the highest level of the game and I spoke to him about his plans and what he’s wanting to do.

“It was their ideas, ambition and the environment they want to create as well as the way they want to be with their players that was appealing to me.”

The new signing also gave Gateshead fans a hint of what is to come from him this season, describing himself as “an attack-minded full-back”.

“I do the defensive side when I need to, but I look to attack and get up and down the pitch,” he said.

“From speaking to Mike and Ian about the way they want to play, I think I’ll suit it.”

Nicholson was part of Alun Armstrong’s squad as the Spartans reached the National League North play-offs last season before losing to Altrincham on penalties in the eliminator.

The defender is hoping to go further this time around, adding: “We want to get promotion, I don’t think anyone will have a different target than that.

“I played in this competition last season and came close going out in the play-offs, so I know what it’s about.

“Dropping down a league won’t be easy because there are some really good teams and also other full-time teams in the league.

“Judging on what’s been said so far, and Mike and Ian’s plans on what they want to do, it’ll be a really good season.”