New Gateshead captain has this warning to squad ahead of new season
Newly appointed Gateshead captain Greg Olley believes that nobody is guaranteed a place in Mike Williamson’s starting line-up this season.
The Heed player-manager has enjoyed a fruitful summer in the transfer market with Sunderland youngster Ryan Wombwell, former Heed favourite Robbie Tinkler and strike duo Adam Campbell and Cedwyn Scott all arriving at the International Stadium.
Williamson also managed to strengthen his playing and coaching ranks when Hebburn Town’s FA Vase winning captain Louis Storey joined the club in a dual capacity.
Several of the club’s academy players have also shone during pre-season wins against the likes of Hebburn and Dunston UTS with midfielder Connor Pani and striker Eddy Thomas both catching the eye.
And with two more possible additions being considered, Gateshead’s squad is looking strong ahead of what will be a physically challenging National League North season.
But Olley insisted that everyone will have to be fit and firing to ensure the club challenge for a return to non-league’s top tier throughout the upcoming campaign.
He told The Echo: “There is more competition for places this season, especially with the formation we are going to be playing.
“There is a need for consistency from everyone because we know if you aren’t at it, there will be one or two players looking to take your spot.
“We could still have a couple of players to come in and there are the young lads from the academy too.
“The squad is already bigger than the one we had in my first year here.
“It gives you the confidence we can build up momentum and we will all be working together to push the club on and challenge for promotion.”
Supporters will return to the International Stadium for Saturday’s home friendly against League Two newcomers Hartlepool United and Olley is looking forward to seeing familiar faces at the International Stadium.
“I think everyone knows what the supporters mean to the players, and we know what the club means to the supporters,” he explained.
“It has not been any easy year for anyone so we are really looking forward to seeing them back and hopefully we can give them something to shout about.”