South Shields adopt hybrid model

South Shields will adopt a new hybrid model for the 2019/20 as they look to progress towards their long-term goal of becoming a Football League club.

The hybrid model will give first-team managers, Lee Picton and Graham Fenton, increased contact time with much of the first-team squad, with two additional training sessions to take place each week.

The long-term view is that the hybrid system will ultimately progress to a completely full-time model, though this could take a number of years to come to fruition.

The move comes following a series of meetings between the club's board and the management.

Chairman Geoff Thompson said: "This is a very exciting time for South Shields Football Club and we are confident that these changes will greatly assist with our long-term ambitions.

"Reaching the Football League as a community-based club is our goal, but a lot of effort and commitment will be required to turn that ambition into reality.

"The appointments and changes we have decided to make underline that we see this as a long-term project which will require a huge collaborative effort.

"Allowing Lee and Graham the opportunity to spend more time with the first-team players is key for us, and we are excited about the impact that could have as they bid to maximise the potential of our squad.

"We are all eagerly anticipating the 2019-20 season and are hopeful there are lots of exciting times to come.

"Our supporters have been with us every step of the way during the thrilling journey we have had so far, and we are going to need that to continue to make all of this a success.

"It's critical people continue to get behind us, and we will reward that commitment with an enormous determination to maximise the potential of this club and get it as far as it can possibly go, however long that may take."

In their first season in the NPL Premier Division, South Shields were beaten in the play-off final by Warrington Town, having narrowly been beaten to the league title by Farsley Celtic.

Where next?

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Sheffield sign Matlock pair and prolific striker Sheffield FC have made their first moves of the summer.

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