Ex-Newcastle United U23 defender Michael Riley joins Blyth Town

Michael Riley in action for Blyth Town on his debut.
Michael Riley in action for Blyth Town on his debut.

Blyth Town are continuing to build their squad as they challenge for promotion to the Northern League first division.

Former Newcastle United Under-23 left-back Michael Riley is the latest player to join the club.

Even though the 22-year-old has come in towards the back-end of the season, Town manager Mick Connor said it is still beneficial to the squad to continue introducing new players to get the ‘best blend’.

“We will always be looking to get the higher standard of players to ensure we have the right blend of strengths and skills within the squad,” he said.

“We are only in our first season in the Northern League and the team has come a long way since August last year.

“Michael has huge potential and the next few games are crucial, so I hope to see him grab this opportunity by the horns and deliver.

“Making his debut against a league topping team such as Team Northumbria last week, and getting the goal within minutes, Michael could have walked away with man of the match for that alone.”

With a wealth of experience playing in the Northern league with teams including Newcastle Benfield, Jarrow Roofing and Newton Aycliffe, Riley said he was up to the challenge.

“It is a huge opportunity to join a club with such commitment and determination to go up the leagues and gives players the opportunity to be on that journey with them,” he said.

“I am extremely ambitious and it is great to be a part of a club that shares those ambitions.”

Meanwhile, Gary Day is set to return to the squad by next month following an operation for Gilmore’s groin, and captain John Iveson has returned to full contact training following a knee injury and is due to re-join the team within two weeks.