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Liam Drury: Return To The Top

A young footballer's career is blighted by injury early on. As he turns to management, is he able to return to the top or will he crash and burn like before?
Started on 23 February 2016 by LiamDrury8
Latest Reply on 10 June 2016 by LiamDrury8
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Hopefully you can cut out the inconsistencies pal but well done for looking into the youth squads, at such a lower level you never know who can make a difference!

Hopefully Shaun and Brenden are able to force a move into the first team squad :)
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Beany-Inconsistences are killing my season man. And having worked at a lower league club for the past year, I know how important youth is to lower league clubs. And the pair of Shaun and Brenden are hopefully going to get to the first team if they impress me enough.
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Liam - Yeah whenever I did LLM I would say win four in a row then lose three and then draw two and then go back to winning, infuriated me haha! Hopefully I get to see them in the team by the end of th season at least :)
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December

Yet again, another unbeaten month which I can be proud of my players for. However, there were still too many draws for my liking, which has seen us slip further away from the top of the table now and sees us holding on with a thread of hope that we can pull ourselves together again and push on forward to try and reclaim the top spot. Here is how the last month of 2018, December, went for us:

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Fixtures

(Northern League D2)1.12.2018-Team Northumbria 1(Irving 40) South Shields 1(Cain 13)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Matt Draper, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Brad Aspinall, Jake Smith, Cesaire Lingouba, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Steve Muir, Lee Thompson, Max Brown, Adam Hohn.

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(Northern League D2)8.12.2018-South Shields 2(Meade 13, Lingouba 43) Willington 0

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Adam Hohn, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Cesaire Lingouba, Brad Aspinall, Max Brown, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Craig Carney, Lee Thompson, Steve Muir(On for Telfer, 45).

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(Northern League D2)15.12.2018-Darlington RA 1(Moncur 72) South Shields 2(Telfer 9, Brown 35)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Adam Hohn, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Brad Aspinall, Cesaire Lingouba, Max Brown, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Craig Carney, Lee Thompson(On for Brown, 70), Matt Draper.

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(Northern League D2)22.12.2018-South Shields 0 Esh Winning 0

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Adam Hohn, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Brad Aspinall, Mark Osborne, Cesaire Lingouba, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Craig Carney(On for Lingouba, 77), Lee Thompson(On for Telfer, 71), Matt Draper(On for Osborne, 71).

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(Northern League D2)29.12.2018-Crook 1(Bell 6) South Shields 1(Thompson 16)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Adam Hohn, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Jack Stockdill, Brad Aspinall, Craig Carney, Harry Cain, Lee Thompson.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke(On for Hohn, 82), Matt Draper, Mark Osborne(On for Myler, 82), Jack Bowskin.

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League Table

This month really has been a massive blow to our chances of winning the title or getting promoted out of the league this season. At the end of 2018, it is a huge disappointment and hugely gutting for myself to say that Shields sit 1 point outside the promotion places on 49 points from 25 games played. With 17 games left to play, everything is there for the taking.

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Player Of The Month-Cesaire Lingouba

This lad has been one of my revelations and probably my most unsung heroes of the season in all aspects. I've been keeping note of Cesaire's aspects and I have really liked the effort he has put in on the training pitch and then transferred that over to games. However, my 22 year-old star dislocated his shoulder in the latter games of December and is now out until March time. This month, Lingouba scored his first goal of the season and managed to get his 7th and 8th assist in all competitions this season as he continued to dominate from central midfield.
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Shields Make Changes

It has been a highly entertaining few days over at Filtrona Park, the home of South Shields, as manager Liam Drury has brought in people to try and boost South Shield's titlle charge now.

Following Drury's insistence that he is prepared to look at youth as he heads into January, Drury appears to have ditched his plan of looking into the academy and having gone for more experienced heads to try and reform the academy.

With all of the people involved arriving from other clubs, it is definitely going to be a whole new squad heading into the second half of the season with South Shields set to battle it out with teams like Washington and Guisborough for the Northern League D2 title to try and earn their way back into Northern D1.

With Courtney McCann and Craig Laight having left the club in recent months for pastures new, Drury has taken this as an opportunity to invest in some fresh squad faces to try and brighten things up.

The player to arrive at the club was Brian Dockerty, the former Frickley youth graduate and Arlesey loan player. Dockerty first arrived at Frickley in 2015, aged just 16, and the player served his time with the club well but failed to make a strong enough impact on various managers , which eventually saw the youngster rot away within the club's system.

Dockerty was happily let go by Frickley, where he now joins up with South Shields and with Cesaire Lingouba out injured for 2-3 months, Dockerty may get his chance earlier than expected.

In terms of new backroom staff at the club, the long-awaited Head Of Youth Development appointment has been made with Craig Alexander taking up the role. Blake Thompson-Brown has also taken up the vacant role as U21 manager. Stuart Smeeton has also arrived at the club to support the youth side of the club and has been appointed as U18 assistant manager.

Multiple bids have also flooded in for captain Matt Draper, who has been underused this season, with bids from AFC Blackpool, Armthorpe, Kirby Muxtoe, Knaresborough and Winsford all being made. In other transfer news, Liam Greenwood has agreed to leave the club and terminate his contract after rarely being used by Drury so far this season.
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13th January 2019

I pulled up outside my house and leant back in my car-seat, staring into thin air through the windscreen. There she was, in all her glory, my beautiful girlfriend, Darcy. I pulled a small box from my pocket.

I opened it up to reveal an engagement ring. I shook my head before placing the engagement ring in the glove compartment. I climbed out of my car and locked it before entering my house.

My three year-old daughter, Holly, came waddling up the hallway toward me. "Hello daddy" she says before hugging me tightly. I stroke her hair softly as she lets go and hands me a piece of paper. "What's this princess?" I ask softly as Holly looks up and smiles at me.

"It's a picture of you and Mummy" Holly says sweetly. I smile down at her before picking her up in my arms. "Thank you. It looks very good" I say charmingly. I enter the living room before placing Holly down and smiling at Darcy as she is watching TV. Darcy turns and looks at me.

"Is everything ok?" Darcy asks me. "Everything is just fine" I ask before looking out the window to my car. "I'rr be right back" I say before walking out to my car. I unlock the door calmly before climbing inside and opening up the glove department. I pull the box with the engagement ring inside out from the glove department and quickly pocket it. But as I turn to climb out, I see Holly stood next to the door. "What have you got Daddy?" she asks brightly in her soft, charming voice. I smile at Holly and take both of her hands in mine. "Now, Holly. Can you keep a secret for me?" I ask her kindly. Holly nods at me. "I'm going to ask your Mummy to be my wife" I say and Holly smiles at me as I climb out the car.

I lock the car door before taking Holly's hand in mine and leading her back inside. I now find Darcy doing the dishes in the kitchen and I close the door behind myself. She turns to look at me as I walk up behind her. "You made me jump" Darcy says jokingly. "I'm sorry about then then" I reply happily. I swing Darcy around. "Look at me" I say demandingly before pulling the box from my pocket and I get down onto one knee. Darcy covers her mouth ecstactically and I smile at her as she jumps on her feet.

"Darcy Brussell. Would you make me the happiest man alive and agree to be my wife?" I say. I can see tears begining to appear from Darcy's eye as she struggles to get the words out. "Yes. Yes, I will be your wife" Darcy says and I jump back up happily. I put the ring on her finger and pull her into a tight hug. "I love you" I whisper into her ear. "I love you more" Darcy says back and upon letting go of eachother, Darcy gives me a quick kiss on the lips before turning back toward the dishes. "Leave the dishes" I say, taking her away from the sink. "There's a party waiting for us at the stadium" I say. I take Darcy and Holly out to the car and get them settled in. We then begin the short 5-minute drive to Filtrona Park, where we then climb out of the car I lead Darcy into the clubhouse with Holly following closely behind and upon our entry, there is a massive cheer with a banner hung up reading 'Congratulations On Your Engagement'.

"She said yes then?" Brad Aspinall shouts after I quiet everyone down. "Of course she did" I reply and everyone continues to cheer. Captain Matt Draper is the first to approach us. "Congratulations on the engagement you two" Matt says. "Aww. Thanks Matt" Darcy says. Lee Thompson then comes up to us. "Why don't I take Holly so she can go meet my kids?" Lee says kindly. "That would be good Lee" I say, happy at Lee's insistence. Lee takes Holly and leads her over toward his family. "See. Everyone does care about you and Holly. Because your my family, your their family as well" I say, holding Darcy tightly.
A very nice update, congrats ;)
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Shields Sign Striker

In yet another surprising yet welcomed signing over at Filtrona Park, the home of South Shields, South Shields have swooped to pick up striker Reece Dwyer, a product of Vanarama National League North Altrincham's youth academy.

With Adam Telfer and Max Brown recently struggling to score goals themselves and having to rely on easy chances to come their way, Liam Drury has decided to use his knowledge of the the lower league by picking up pacy 5'9" striker Dwyer from Thackley.

Dwyer joined Thackley as an 18 year-old back in the summer of 2016 after being released by Altrincham's academy. It is thought that Dwyer was persuaded by Brad Aspinall to join Shields after Drury asked his midfielder to speak with the new signing over the phone.

On his new signing, Drury responded with "I like the lad as a person and as a player. He is a dressing room player for me at such a young age. He's 21 and I've already heard and seen him try to motivate some older players out on the pitch".

Dwyer will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of recent South Shields summer signing Adam Telfer, who has managed to knock in 16 goals so far this season and Dwyer will be hoping to make the same impact.

"I bought the lad because of his off-the-ball movement. He times his runs to perfection. He also doesn't hesitate when on the ball and he is probably one of the fastest players I have available" Drury also said.

Dwyer has been put on a non-contract, meaning he can be bought by anyone at any time, and it is also thought Drury has added the incentive of £20 in appearance fees, £5 for every goal and £4 for every unused substitute appearance.
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January

This month has surely put us back in the race for the title. After enduring yet another solid yet unbeaten month, I have entered the month of February a proud man and manager with the team being solid as usual and the fact that Darcy accepted my marriage proposal has surely reflected on my team. Here's how January 2019 panned out:

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Fixtures

(Northern League D2)5.1.2019-South Shields 1(Smith 64) Billingham Syn 1(Quinn 90)

Starting XI::Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Stockdill, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Sean Myler, Brad Aspinall, Jake Smith, Max Brown, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Matt Draper, Craig Carney(On for Smith, 83), Lee Thompson(On for Telfer, 68), Adam Hohn.

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(Northern League D2)12.1.2019-Easington Colliery 0 South Shields 2(Thompson 49, Telfer 89)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Stockdill, Tom Clarke, Ryan Serrant, Lee Thompson, Brad Aspinall, Sean Myler, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer, Max Brown.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Adam Hohn, Craig Carney, Jake Smith(On for Serrant, 69), Jordan Cooke.

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(Northern League D2)16.1.2019-South Shields 2(Thompson pen 48, Brown 90+2) Washington 1(Rushbury 69)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Stockdill, Adam Hohn, Tom Clarke, Lee Thompson, Sean Myler, Craig Carney, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer, Max Brown.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Jake Smith(On for Myler, 64), Reece Dwyer(On for Telfer, 68), Jack Bowskin.

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(Northern League D2)26.1.2019-Tom Law 1(Mukendi 45+1) South Shields 3(Brown 5 74, Telfer 32)

Starting XI:Tom Tyalor, Josh Meade, Jake Cliffe, Jordan Cooke, Tom Clarke, Lee Thompson, Sean Myler, Jack Stockdill, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer, Max Brown.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Adam Hohn, Craig Carney, Jake Smith, Reece Dwyer(On for Brown, 74).

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League Table

I would say that to start the month in the dreaded 4th place was a disaster for the potential this club had and to manage to finish the month in 3rd place after overtaking Guisborough after they had a game called off was a superb achievement in my eyes especially because we now hold an automatic promotion spot. The top two of Washington and Northallerton are definitely battling it out at the top as they are level on 62 points, with us sitting below them on 59 points and Guisborough clinching onto us by the skin of their teeth on 57 points. Either us, Washington, Northallerton and Guisborough are set to miss out on a promotion at the end of the season but the question is who will it be?

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Player Of The Month-Max Brown

The former Coventry youngster is now showing his full potential which he didn't show during his five years at Coventry. Despite being just a teen, Brown is showing a level of maturity beyond everyone else at this club and is showing his commitment to this club by scoring and assisting goals for fun. This month, Max managed to net 3 goals during the month, the winner against league leaders Washington and by grabbing 2 agianst Tom Law whereas both of his world-class assists came in the 2-0 win over Easington Colliery in our 2nd game of the month.
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2nd February 2019

The tension was building around the ground with a few minutes left from kick-off vs Heaton Stannington at Filtrona Park. I could see my side in a huddle facing the south stand as Heaton passed a ball around.

"Now please welcome to the pitch. Your January Player Of The Month MAX BROWN" the PA announcer said boomingly and I strode out onto the pitch with my injured striker.

The fans around the stadium began chanting Max Brown's name and he put his hand up to thank the fans for the chanting. I picked Max's plaque up from a stand placed in front of the director's area as Max calmly hobbles over toward me stood by the stand. The fans clap him at his determination and for him winning the coveted award. I clap as well to make myself look professional.

I grasp Max's hand in mine and look deeply into his eyes. "Well done mate. You deserve it" I say soothingly and Max smiles at me as he takes hold of the award. "Thanks gaffer" the kid replies. Me and Max then turn toward the cameraman who is stood by the directors area and I take Max's hand in his while Max holds his award in the other hand.

The cameraman clicks away ferociously as me and Max smile for him. Then, the cameraman thanks us for our time and I clap Max on the back as he strolls off the pitch and I go to join my team's huddle.

I squeeze in between Jordan Henderson and Josh Meade. "Right boys. This is a day that could define your entire season. If you win this one and Guisborough draw or lose, then we pull a few points clear".

"You can hear the fans. Give them something to celebrate at the end of the draw. Another win. I don't care if the opposition take the lead because you need to be the ones scoring the most amount of goals".

"You lot have grown as a unit this past season and by the end of today, you could be a few points further into the promotion spots and perhaps a few points closer to top spot. Now go and win that game" I say passionately before the team disband as one and jog off to their respective positions while Jordan and Adam Telfer step up to take the kick-off.

I make it to my dugout before turning to face my team, the last few instructions being bellowed by captain for the day Jack Stockdiill. Then the ref blew his whistle and Jordan rolled the ball to Adam...
Well done on getting to third place! Hope you can work harder and get higher mate :)
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February

I have been hugely impressed with our recent form this month, especially after not losing since 3rd November in the league. We have managed to escape the close clutches of Guisborough and Northallerton for the time being as we can now push away from our divisional rivals so far this season. But with Washington having a game in hand, our title hopes are looking increasingly slim for the moment.

This month started superbly well with a dominating win over Heaton Stannington, which saw Jordan Henderson return to the team after having been absent for the past 3 months due to injury and poor form. Here is how February went:

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Fixtures

(Northern League D2)2.2.2019-South Shields 3(Telfer 5, Henderson 48, Thompson pen 79) Heaton Stannington(Garner 63, Norman S/O 78)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Stockdill, Tom Clarke, Jake Cliffe, Lee Thompson, Sean Myler, Brad Aspinall, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer, Jordan Henderson.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke(On for Clarke, 68), Craig Carney, Jake Smith, Adam Hohn.

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(Northern League D2)9.2.2019-Hebburn 2(Stopforth 26, Smalley 72) South Shields 3(Henderson 21, Telfer 34, Cliffe 76)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jake Cliffe, Jack Lilley, Tom Clarke, Lee Thompson, Jack Stockdill, Sean Myler, Harry Cain, Adam Telfer, Jordan Henderson.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke(On for Cliffe, 76), Craig Carney, Brad Aspinall, Adam Hohn.

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(Northern League D2)16.2.2019-South Shields 2(Thompson pen 13, Stockdill 70) Birtley Town 0

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Lilley, Tom Clarke, Jake Cliffe, Cesaire Lingouba, Jack Stockdill, Sean Myler, Harry Cain, Adam telfer, Jordan Henderson.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Craig Carney(On for Myler, 71), Jake Smith, Adam Hohn(On for Lilley, 71)

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(Northern League D2)23.2.2019-South Shields 1(Thompson 29) Whickham 1(May 87)

Starting XI:Tom Taylor, Josh Meade, Jack Lilley, Tom Clarke, Jake Cliffe, Sean Myler, Jack Stockdill, Jake Smith, Lee Thompson, Harry Cain, Max Brown.

Substitutes:Gareth Rees, Jordan Cooke, Craig Carney, Jordan Henderson(On for Brown, 90), Matt Draper.

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League Table

The battle for the promotion places has heated up this month with us, Guisborough and Northallerton set to fight it out for the last 2 promotion spots as Washington have a game in hand on us and are 3 points clear at the top of the table. However, their game in hand is against Northallerton so it is a big game for them nonetheless and it is one that I am considering heading down to to see a pivotal result which could define theirs and our season.

We currently sit in 2nd place with 69 points as Washington sit top with 72 points whereas rivals for our promotion place, Northallerton and Guisborough, both sit in 4th and 3rd respectively on 67 points with 33 games played. There are 9 games left to be played, and only 9 to see us go up.

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Player Of The Month-Lee Thompson

My veteran striker/winger has been consistent from the word 'go' at the start of the season but this is the mouth that the 36 year-old finally broke out and unleashed himself on the Northern League D2. Lee has managed to bag himself 2 goals this month as well as a hat-trick of assists to push us further forward toward the promotion we have been craving from July when the players returned for pre-season. But whatever happens for the last 2 months, I'm hoping Lee will be a major part of it.
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8th March 2019

It was a sunny spring day at Filtrona Park in South Shields, and I was sat at my desk in the manager's office when a loud knock came from the door. "Come in" I replied and I saw my U18's manager, Chris Andrews, pop his head around the door. "Hello Chris. How many I help you?" I replied. "The Youth Candidates are here for training boss" Chris said and I acknowledge his words as I put my pen down.

I put my South Shields training jacket on before following Chris out into the hallway. "When are your lot in for training?" I asked Chris. "Later tonight. I've asked them to come in slightly later though" the manager said and I opened the doors up to reveal the bar, where the youngsters were all milling.

"Into the changing rooms then lads" I said and they all filed into the home dressing room. When they all changed and ready, I rang the bell and they all jogged out toward the training pitches with me and U18's assistant Stuart Smeeton just behind them.

I sent all the boys on a jog before laying out some squares of cones and asking them to play possession football.

I scoured the two sets of possession football bases that were being used. "Pick up the tempo" I shouted at the top of my voice and immediately, I witnessed the players stroking the ball around as quickly as they could. There was this one 16 year-old lad named Jamie Roberts who really caught my eye.

Jamie controlled the ball from a driven pass before skipping around his marker, Jamie Lamb, and passing the ball to the other side of the square to Martyn Henderson. "Good" I said encouragingly and Jamie looked at me and smiled happily. I walked back over to Stuart Smeeton who was by the over box. "Who's that kid there with the mohawk?" I asked. "Jamie Roberts. Centre-Back" Stuart replied.

I looked back over at the youngster, only to see him pop the ball through the legs of a defender when controlling a pass and passing the ball off. "He's got a good touch and a decent pass" I said. "He's someone to look out for in the future" Stuart said smiling as I continued to watch Jamie closely.

The plan for my next drill was to take the wingers, full-backs, strikers, centre-backs and goalkeepers over to the near goal while Stuart went away with the central-midfielders. "So, the plan is for the striker to pass the ball out to a winger, who then takes on the full-back and tries to get the striker to score through crossing, passing, anything" I said. First up was Marc Makel as the winger, with Colin Hodgson as the striker, Michael Palmer as the full-back, Alex Yates as the centre-back and Jonathan Ibrahim as the goalkeeper. I rolled the ball to Hodgson, who controlled the ball and curled a ball into Makel.

Makel took the ball under control before getting it out from his feet and touching it forward a few yards. I could see the intent in Makel's eyes as he put the ball round the back of Palmer before racing onto the ball and drilling a ball in toward Hodgson tapping in at the back post fortanately.

We tried this drill a few times but Ibrahim was impressing in goal. He made an impressive save from Hodgson as Hodgson dived into win a header from a cross from the left. I then decided to end the training session and myself, Stuart and all the youngsters headed inside to get changed.

I headed into my office to have a talk with Stuart Smeeton, Chris Alexander and Chris Roberts about who we should think about signing on for next season. "So then, Liam, what did you think of the players out there?" Chris Alexander asked me straight away. "I think they are all worthy of playing in the South Shields U18's for next season but I think they are a few I would definately like here. I believe that Jamie Roberts is probably the best of what I saw out there. His first touch, skill and passing is excellent for a central midfielder. I also liked the look of Marc Makel, the right winger. He's got good dribbling skills and can beat his man with pace. He can cross a ball as well" I said as Chris Alexander took notes down on his laptop while Chris Roberts and Stuart Smeeton nodded along...
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Douglas-Pringle Links Up With Shields

A week before the free transfer window across the country ends, veteran striker Daniel Douglas-Pringle has signed with South Shields from former club New Mills.

Daniel Douglas-Pringle has joined the side, who are currently chasing the Northern League D2 promotion, until the end of the season at least, with Douglas-Pringle perhaps staying on if he impresses.

With 5 games of the season left to play, and Drury's side hunting for promotion straight back to Northern League D1, Douglas-Pringle has been brought in to add experience to the front-line for the end of season rush and is set to try and take the burden off existing strikers around the club.

Douglas-Pringle became a fan favourite over at his former club, New Mills, by making 168 appearances in a spell from August 2012 to March 2019, when he left to join new club South Shields.

Douglas-Pringle served his youth years at Manchester City as a youngster but he then moved to Bury to gain first-team football. Spells then followed at Leigh, Chorley, Woodley Sports, Alfreton and Curzon Athletic before the player finally found his first home at Hyde. There, he made 46 appearances and scored 12 goals in 2 years.

Then, he moved onto New Mills and became a fan favourite, where he made 173 appearances for the side and scored 25 goals in total for them over a span of 9 seasons with a short spell at Hyde in 2012/2013.

New Mills were obviously reluctant to see Douglas-Pringle leave the club but they finally decided upon it due to Liam's insistence that New Mills would be the first club he would let Douglas-Pringle go to if they ever put an offer back in for him. However, it is a sad thing for New Mills fans as they won't see the striker complete a decade of seasons at the club.

Douglas-Pringle has admitted Drury brought him in just to fill up the numbers and to use his experience on a younger squad, with South Shields banging in goals for fun so far this season with Adam Telfer leading the charts with 21 league goals and Max Brown following in behind with 14 goals overall this season.

Douglas-Pringle has said that he is upset to leave New Mills, but is happy to endure a new chapter in his career with the promotion-chasing South Shields and he can't wait to see what he can bring the club and vice versa.
Loving the detail in these updates mate! Hopefully that youth intake can bring in a few stars :) Some good results thrown in as well!

You are reading "Liam Drury: Return To The Top".

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