Ex-Newcastle United academy ace and Hebburn star reacts to Gateshead move
Hebburn Town captain Louis Storey has described his move to National League North club Gateshead as “a fantastic opportunity”.
The Hornets skipper officially joined the Heed on Friday in a deal that sees defender Kieren Aplin and young forward Nelson Ogbewe move in the opposition direction on season-long loan deals.
Storey will take up a player-coach role at the International Stadium as he returns to the professional game for the first time since he was a regular feature in Newcastle United’s academy sides almost a decade ago.
The move also means the 27-year-old will play in the National League North for the first time in his career and he revealed he was excited by the prospect of testing himself at a higher level.
He told The Echo: “I am absolutely over the moon to join Gateshead.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for me as a player and as a coach.
“When Gateshead made contact, I knew it would be a hard decision to leave Hebburn because I have a strong connection with the club.
“But I am back in the full-time game, I haven’t been a professional since I was at Newcastle when I was 19.
“It’s a personal achievement to be back as a pro – and I knew it means more dedication, a change of lifestyle and total commitment.
“It’s a big challenge for me, but it is a challenge I am more than ready to take on.”
Storey praised him former club for their support in his move up the non-league pyramid.
The centre-back leaves Hebburn and the back of their FA Vase Final win over Consett and promotion into the Northern Premier League East Division.
He revealed his gratitude for the support he has received from key individuals at the club as the prospect of moving to Gateshead drew closer.
“The staff and directors at Hebburn have only ever been supportive throughout this process,” he explained.
“That speaks volumes about them as people and as a football club.
“It was a very hard decision to leave but I will be a supporter of Hebburn Town from now on.”
Storey will make a quick return to the Green Energy Sports Ground when Gateshead face his former club in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday 6th July.