Braves sign McFarlane

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Blyth AFC are delighted to announce their first signing of the summer, three-time FA Vase winning defender, Craig McFarlane, writes Andrew McDonnell.

McFarlane has been with North Shields since 2015 and brings an end to his three-year tenure with the Robins by making the switch to Blyth.

The 30-year-old was part of the Shields team that finished third with 101 points in the 2016-17 season and the full-back is delighted to be linking up with his former boss.

“I’ve played under Jon when he had his spell at North Shields and I know the way he likes to play football,” McFarlane said.

“In theory, it suits me to the ground with the way he likes to pass the ball around. From a full-backs points of view, he likes to have an attacking way of playing.

“Also, from speaking to people, Blyth seem to have quite a lot of ambition, which is always an interest to me and that excites me, so that’s another teason that attracted me to the club.”

The defender, who started his playing career with Sunderland, has been in the Northern League for the past 12 years and won the FA Vase in three consecutive years with Whitley Bay in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

McFarlane was with Bedlington Terriers before a successful six-year spell with the Bay. Last season, he made 31 appearances for Shields and believes he has a lot to offer the current Division Two champions.

He added: “I’ve been around the Northern League for some time now and I certainly bring a lot of experience. I’ve got three FA Vase winners medals under my belt. I’ve got a Senior Cup winners medal. I’ve also played in a number of finals too, the League Cup final and in another one or two Senior Cup finals.

“I bring a lot of experience and also versatility. Predominantly, I’m a right-sided player, so right-back or right-wing, but I’ve also had spells at centre-half, centre-midfield, left-wing and up front.”