Ex-Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson to extend playing career with Gateshead
Former Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson will extend his player career into another season with Gateshead.
The 37-year-old is preparing for his fourth season with the National League club and his third as player-manager at the International Stadium.
Williamson’s move into the dugout has coincided with two frustrating years as the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with the non-league pyramid.
But he is now fully focused on preparing Gateshead for another push for promotion into the National League – and he revealed he is ready to continue combining his playing and managerial duties.
He told The Echo: “I am very excited going into next season and we have everything crossed that it is a full season after what has happened over the last year or so.
“Both seasons we have been here as a management team have been curtailed but we feel that we are getting closer to our vision every day.
“I’d like to think I have changed as a manager over that time, maybe you’d have to speak to the boys about that, whether it’s for better or worse.
“But I am still enjoying it and I am still enjoying playing.
“I am still trying to identify the areas where I can improve and that will continue because it is one of the mantras we encourage at the club.”
Williamson’s summer transfer business got underway when he persuaded former Newcastle United team-mate Adam Campbell to return to the full-time game after spending two years with Darlington.
The Heed boss revealed that the forward has been a long-term target and tipped Campbell to “fit in seamlessly” at the International Stadium.
“It was a case of knowing Adam from playing alongside him at Newcastle.
“We had conversations over the last two years, but the timing wasn’t right for him to join us.
“He wanted to come back to full-time football, he wanted to give it a go and I know what he is all about as a player and as a person too.
“He will fit in seamlessly with the environment and culture here and I am really looking forward to working with him.”