Skinner begins building Bedlington Terriers squad

Bedlington Terriers have added five new signings to their Ebac Northern League squad along with ten of last season’s group agreeing new deals.

Kevin Morton, Rhys Jobling, Craig Hindmarsh, Craig Ellison and Conor Winter have all put pen to paper on deals at Welfare Park.

Former Durham City players Jobling, Hindmarsh and Ellison along with former Seaham Red Star striker Winter all said that it was the chance to work under manager Ian Skinner for a second time that had helped in securing their signatures, whilst Morton returns to the club with him now being available on a regular basis.

Hindmarsh – a midfield player with Durham City and Esh Winning last season – said: “I enjoyed my time playing at Durham City last season under Ian and Adam. When they left the club I also chose to leave with them and finished the season playing with my mates at Esh Winning.

“When the opportunity to work with Ian again became available I had no hesitation in agreeing to join Bedlington Terriers and I look forward to the season ahead.”

Ellison spent time with Durham City before moving to Newcastle Benfield towards the end of last season.

The attacking midfield player moves to Bedlington having turned down better offers from other clubs.

Sid, as Ellison prefers to be known, said: “I had offers from a couple of clubs who were interested in me, but once I had spoken to Ian and he laid out his vision for the club, coupled with the fact that a few lads from Durham had agreed to join, I knew that I wanted to be part of what Bedlington are trying to achieve.”

Winter represented Sunderland RCA, Hebburn Town and Seaham Red Star last season, scoring goals for all three clubs.

He said: “I have managed to score goals at all the clubs I have represented, but looking back I produced my best form when playing for Durham City during the 2012-13 season.

“Signing for Bedlington and playing under Ian again makes me confident that I can reproduce that form which saw me score 20-plus goals for Durham City.”

Jobling is another former Durham City player who has made the move to Bedlington.

A goalkeeper who made a number of appearances for Durham last season, he said: “I look forward to joining Bedlington and providing competition for the goalkeeper position.

“Having spoken to Ian he has explained the situation in relation to the goalkeepers and I am aware that Sean McCafferty won both player of the year and players’ player of the year last season.”

Having completed the five signings, manager Ian Skinner said: “It is pleasing to bring some new players to the club as well as Kevin who has been at the club previously.

“The five players we have brought in so far have all got good Northern League experience and this will help with the balance of the side, providing us with a mix of young and experienced players.”

In relation to having worked with four of them previously, he added: “It is always pleasing when players you have previously worked with express an interest in signing for you again.

“I obviously know all about what they are capable of and I strongly believe that all four will enhance our squad and help us to move forward as a team.”

Meanwhile ten of last season’s squad has committed to the club for the new season.

Senior players Colin Morton, James Harmison and Paul Watson were among the names to agree another deal, alongside seven of the club’s younger players.

Goalkeeper Sean McCafferty, defenders Ross Dixon, Kyle Dobson, midfielders Liam Davison, James Loughborough and forwards Sam Walton and Dylan Williamson have all agreed to commit to another season at Welfare Park.

Looking ahead to any further additions, the boss added: “The close season has been a very busy one for all concerned behind the scenes.

“The management team has met with a large number of players to discuss our vision in moving Bedlington forward.

“There are a number of offers on the table to players who we hope will still join the club.

“Hopefully will we be in a position to announce further additions to the squad very soon.

“The ten lads committing to the club for the new season is a great start to our squad building.

“We know we need to strengthen so we can give ourselves the best possible chance of improving on last year’s league position, and that is something we are all working on every day.

“As well as this we have to look after the players who gave us so much last season.”