By Mark Carruthers (Evening Chronicle)
With the big kick-off just eight days away, the Robins have announced that club legend Gareth Bainbridge has committed to the club for the new campaign.
Bainbridge was an influential figure in one of the club’s most successful periods as his goals helped them to promotion into the Northern League’s top tier as they romped to the Division Two title in 2014.
They were crowned as FA Vase winners less than 12 months later as the striker found the net in their 2-1 win over Glossop North End and he also found the net in a dramatic Northumberland Senior Cup Final win against Blyth Spartans at the end of the 2015/16 season.
Bainbridge will also enter the new season with his sights set on becoming the club’s highest goalscorer of the post-war era.
He currently sits just three goals behind Don Winskill – a striker that became a Robins legend by plundering his way to 238 goals during the 1960s and 70s.
That record played a part in his decision to stay according to the former Ashington striker, who is determined to return the club to the heights it reached under former manager Graham Fenton.
He told Chronicle Live “I wanted to stay at North Shields and continue playing because I still feel that strong relationship with the club.
“I owe a lot to the club’s committee and the supporters for their support over the years, and I want to continue to pay them back as much as I can.
“I, of course have a personal record in sight, which means the world to me, so hopefully I can share that with the fans and club members too.
“Overall, I just want to help the club back to the levels we experienced before and to the place it deserves to be”
There was more good news for manager Marc Nash as striker Connor Campbell returned to the club after a highly successful spell with Division Two club Heaton Stannington.
Campbell joined the Robins at the start of last season but chose to move to Grounsell Park in search of first-team football.
The young striker fired his way to 30 goals during the season to help the Stan to an impressive fourth place finish in Division Two.
He will now return to the Daren Persson Stadium and compete for a starting place with Bainbridge, Gary Day and Scott McCarthy.