Crosby lands new keeper Russell as 11 depart Gateshead

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New Gateshead boss Malcolm Crosby has made his first signing, landing ex-Darlington keeper Sam Russell following his release from Conference rivals Forest Green Rovers.

Crosby said of the 32-year-old: “Good goalkeepers are very hard to find. We are very pleased to have got him. Sam left Middlesbrough the year I joined, but I’ve seen him play quite a lot at Forest Green.”

Crosby has let first-choice keeper Adam Bartlett and ex-Sunderland youngster Joel Dixon depart Gateshead, among 11 released players who include Carl Finnigan, Matty Robson and JJ O’Donnell.

Former Sunderland players John Oster, Jamie Chandler and Ben Clark are among 12 players kept on by Crosby.