Ex-Hartlepool United and Carlisle midfielder joins Gateshead

Antony Sweeney (left) has joined Gateshead
Antony Sweeney (left) has joined Gateshead
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Former Hartlepool United midfielder Antony Sweeney has a new club after signing a one-year deal with Gateshead.

The 32-year-old midfielder becomes boss Neil Aspin’s sixth permanent capture as Gateshead manager.

Sweeney was released by League Two side Carlisle United earlier this month, having spent the last two seasons at Brunton Park, with Aspin quick to make his move and take him to the International Stadium.

The central midfielder has a wealth of experience having made 444 appearances for Pools during his 13-year stint at Victoria Park, twice winning promotion to the third-tier during his time at the club,

Delighted Aspin believes Stockton-born Sweeney will bring a new dimension to his side’s midfield and believes he will prove "invaluable".

Aspin, a former teammate of Sweeney's, said: "I’m very pleased to have him here. His experience will be invaluable for us next year.

"He was just starting his career when I was finishing mine at Hartlepool. I’ve kept an eye on him since then, and he’s had a good record.

"He’s made a lot of appearances and scored a lot of goals from midfield. I feel we’ve been lacking that type of player at the club.

"We had a lot of midfielders at the club last year who were all very similar, but we didn’t really have one who was more of a leader in that department, and more box-to-box.

"Although he’s 32, you can tell he keeps himself fit – he’s very lean, and he wants to prove that he should still be playing in the Football League.

"There aren’t a lot of Football League clubs in the North East, however, so he is a good signing for Gateshead."

Sweeney was an almost ever-present as Pools just missed out on a place in the Championship during the 2004-05 campaign.

He scored 62 goals during his time at Victoria Park.