Gateshead secured the services of goalkeeper Mark Foden following a successful trial in the summer of 2018 after leaving Ross County. The young Scottish shot-stopper spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Scottish League sides Sterling Albion and Stenhousemuir and has previously spent time in the North East of England with Hartlepool United.
Young goalkeeper on loan from Middlesbrough for the duration of the 2018/19 season. Pears is a product of Boro’s Academy and spent the second half of last season on loan with Darlington and has now made the step up to the National League with Gateshead, following the route taken by his Teesside teammate Luke Armstrong in the summer of 2018. Pears made 16 appearances for the Quakers, following on from 11 made for our Under-23s earlier in the season. His combined appearances already number in excess of 50, as well playing in the UEFA Youth League and experience with England at different levels has turned him into a fine prospect. His latest interaction with the national side saw him called into the U20 squad last season. He was on the bench for the Middlesbrough first team for the Carabao Cup win at Villa Park in September 2017. Aynsley’s dad Stephen was a legend between the posts making over 400 appearances for the club and playing a part in four promotions.
A versatile player capable of playing in midfield or defence, Tinkler was snapped up by the Heed in the summer of 2018 after spending time on loan from Middlesbrough at the International Stadium the previous season. He made 17 appearances for the Tynesiders during the first half of the 2017/18 campaign and featured predominantly as a right-back, picking up two Man of the Match awards under Steve Watson.
Welsh left-back Scott Barrow signed for Gateshead in June 2017 following a season at Southern Premier side Merthyr Town after previously impressing in League Two with Newport County. A Swansea City youth player, Barrow left the Liberty Stadium outfit in 2006 and honed his trade with Port Talbot Town and Tamworth over a seven year period before switching to Macclesfield Town in 2014 where he was later named in the Conference Premier Team of the Year. Following his first season on Tyneside, Barrow was named as both the Club’s and Fans’ Player of the Season while also picking up the Goal of the Season award for his stunning strike in the FA Trophy semi-final against Bromley at the International Stadium. Gateshead rejoiced when it was announced that Barrow had agreed a new deal at the club in July 2018 despite an uncertain summer on Tyneside.
Scottish centre-back Fraser Kerr signed a contract with the Heed in July 2017 after spending the past two seasons in the Scottish League One with Cowdenbeath and Stenhousemuir respectively. The Birmingham City youth graduate didn’t make a first-team appearance for the Blues before he moved back north of the border to Motherwell. The 6ft 2in defender and former Scotland Under-21s international then went on to make 66 appearances for the Well between 2012 and 2015, scoring one goal as he helped them to back-to-back runners-up finishes in the Scottish Premiership.
A familiar name to those on Tyneside, experienced centre-back Mike Williamson returned to the north east to sign for Gateshead in the summer of 2018, three years after leaving Premier League side and cross river neighbours Newcastle United. The Stoke-born defender amassed over 130 top-flight appearances for the Magpies over a six year spell and was part of Alan Pardew’s side who claimed a surprise fifth-placed finish in 2011/12. Prior to his spell at Newcastle, Williamson made just shy of 200 appearances for Football League sides Torquay United, Wycombe Wanderers and Watford. The 6ft 4in defender has earned three promotions as a player, most recently with United, as they claimed the 2009/10 Championship title. Since leaving Newcastle with 170 appearances and two goals to his name, Williamson spent two seasons at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship before moving to League One side Oxford United last season, making 17 appearances in all competitions. After leaving Oxford, Williamson joined up to train with the Heed in pre-season before being offered a contract at the club soon after.
After a successful season for the Gateshead Under-19s side, the full-back made his first-team debut in the final game of the 2016/17 National League season. Shortly after, he was offered a professional contract with the club. The young defender made 10 National League appearances in his first season as a professional.
Young defender Tom Devitt joined the Heed on trial in the summer of 2018 after a four year scholarship in the United States of America. The Tyneside native enjoyed a successful trial and officially signed for the club in August 2018.
Part of the Newcastle United Under-23s side that won the Northumberland Senior Cup in 2018, Jack Hunter made his way through the Magpies youth ranks before Gateshead snapped up the combative midfielder in the summer of 2018.
Thomson became Steve Watson’s first signing of the summer when he arrived at the International Stadium in June 2018 following the end of his contract at fellow National League side Halifax Town. The young Geordie scored one goal in 11 appearances for the Shaymen in the 2017/18 campaign after leaving Blackburn Rovers. The right-midfielder was part of Rovers’ youth academy, making one competitive appearance in the EFL Trophy against Fleetwood in 2016. Thomson previously spent time on loan at Barrow in the fifth tier and as part of Carlisle United’s youth set-up.
Attacking midfielder Greg Olley signed for the Heed after a successful trial which saw him score five goals in one and a half matches. Immediately after netting twice against Newcastle Benfield at the International Stadium, the former Newcastle United youngster signed a one-year deal at the Club. After leaving Newcastle’s Academy, Olley joined Hull City where he would go on to make his professional debut in a 3-1 League Cup victory over Exeter City, playing the full 90-minutes. The following season he would make his second senior appearance for the Tigers, as they were beaten 2-0 by Doncaster Rovers in the League Cup.
A Gateshead native, young winger Cameron Salkeld signed for his hometown club in July 2018 after leaving Carlisle United at the end of the 2017/18 season. Salkeld made two competitive appearances for The Cumbrians in the EFL Trophy during the 2016/17 campaign, grabbing a goal and an assist against Fleetwood Town and Blackburn Rovers respectively. Prior to joining the Heed on an initial trial, he spent time on loan at Whitby Town and Annan Athletic.
Midfielder JJ O’Donnell completed a remarkable comeback from injury as he featured in the Gateshead starting XI for the first time in two and a half years at the back end of the 2016/17 season. His impressive displays in the final four matches of the season saw him awarded with a one year contract at the club. O’Donnell initially signed for Gateshead on loan from Luton Town in January 2014 and helped the club reach the Conference play-off final at Wembley. His stoppage time goal against Grimsby Town in the play-off semi-final at the International Stadium is sure to live long in the memory of many a Heed fan and following the end of his loan spell, the then 22-year-old signed for the Tynesiders on a permanent basis. A rare foot condition then threatened an early retirement for the left-sided player but plenty of hard work, support and determination literally helped O’Donnell get back on his feet with Gateshead keeping him involved through the role of kit manager – a position at the club he still holds today.
After initially being released by the club as a teenager after suffering an ACL injury during an Under-19s match in February 2016, White demonstrated remarkable tenacity by continuing to train with the club and eventually earning himself a professional contract just over one year later. He made his National League debut in April 2017, coming off the bench in a 2-0 defeat at Dover Athletic.
Tricky midfielder Lewis Maloney signed for Gateshead ahead of the 2018/19 campaign after training with the first team squad at the back end of the previous season. A product of Middlesbrough’s Academy, Maloney was named on the first team bench for a 3-2 away win at Wolves in October 2015. In total, the Teesside native appeared 47 times in total for Boro’s second string side, operating predominantly in a holding midfield role and registering three goals and four assists over four seasons. After leaving Middlesbrough, Maloney briefly joined up with local Northern League outfit Guisborough Town before switching to the Heed in the summer of 2018.
Gateshead College Graduate Elliot Forbes signed his first professional contract at the club in the summer of 2018 after impressing for the club’s under-19s side and while on loan at Newcastle Benfield.
Young forward on loan from Championship club Middlesbrough until the end of the 2018/19 season. Armstrong re-joined Boro in the summer of 2017 having previously spent five years with the club’s Academy. Luke, the son of former Boro striker Alun Armstrong, was released by the Middlesbrough as an 18-year-old, but two years on he returned to the club after firing Blyth Spartans to promotion from the Northern Premier League in 2016/17, bagging 23 goals in the process.
Former Carlisle United striker signed following a successful trial period in the summer of 2018. Rigg first signed for the Cumbrians following a prolific spell at Penrith, scoring 64 goals in 85 matches. The striker netted six times in his maiden Football League season before moving to Scottish Championship side Queen of the South via a loan in the National League with Barrow. A long term injury hampered his spell north of the border as he made just 10 league appearances before returning to Carlisle on a short-term deal in October 2017. The Keswick born forward then had brief spells at Chorley, Workington and most recently in the United States with Erie Commodores prior to joining the Heed.
Experienced National League striker Scott Boden signed for the Heed after leaving Wrexham at the end of the 2017/18 season, scoring three times in 36 appearances in all competitions. Prior to his Wrexham spell, Boden’s previous stints with National League clubs Alfreton Town, Macclesfield Town and Halifax Town saw him score 38 goals in 115 appearances in total, prompting a move to League Two side Newport County in 2015. Boden amassed over 100 Football League appearances with Chesterfield between 2008 and 2013, finding the net 15 times. And the 28-year-old Yorkshireman enjoyed a solid spell back in the fourth tier with the exiles, scoring 15 times in 51 appearances. A venture in the Scottish Premiership followed with Inverness Caledonian Thistle where Boden managed five goals in 19 appearances in all competitions before moving down to Wales in 2017. And while on trial at Gateshead Boden has scored two goals in two matches against Catalyst and Morpeth Town respectively, earning himself a one-year deal.