Blyth Spartans’ pre-season planning has been given a major boost after midfielder Michael Richardson put pen to paper on a new contract with the club.
The former Newcastle United man became a firm favourite at Croft Park after joining the club in November 2014.
After making his debut against Witton Albion at Croft Park, Richardson went on to score ten goals in 32 appearances in his first season.
He also scored the opening goal in the Northumberland Senior Cup Final win over Morpeth Town as Spartans won the competition for the first time in over two decades.
Richardson said: “It feels great to be staying at the club for the season ahead. I came in midway through last season so to get a full pre-season here at Blyth is a real boost for me, I can’t wait to get started.”
The popular midfielder also paid tribute to his team-mates and the management team of Tom Wade and Lee Picton ahead of the return to training.
“From day one the lads were great towards me and knowing a few of them obviously helped.
“I have known Tom Wade for years and he was a massive part of me joining the club and wanting to stay here.
“Lee Picton has seen me play plenty of times at Newcastle and he knows what I can do, I am looking forward to playing for them this season.”
After going close to reaching the Evo-Stik NPL premier division play-offs last season, Richardson has set his sights on going one better next time around, especially with the help of one of Wade’s new additions, Sean Reid.
He said: “The second half of last season was where we want to be this season.
“We were controlling games and playing ‘proper’ football, with the players we have we can do that again this season and really challenge.
“With Sean Reid coming in, a player I know from playing with him at school and in junior football, I know he will settle in straight away. He will be a great asset and I think we can look forward to the new season with confidence.”
After seeing Richardson sign a new deal, Spartans boss Tom Wade revealed that he sees the 23-year-old as a key part of his side for the new campaign.
The manager said: “Michael did really well to settle so quickly last season and he was averaging a goal every three games, which is astonishing for a midfielder.
“He settled quickly and has become a real fans’ favourite, as well as a popular lad in the changing room.
“It is a massive boost for us that he has signed a new deal.”