Gateshead complete loan move for Stockport County defender as National League return looms

The full-back has become seventh signing of a hectic summer.

<p>Gateshead have secured the signing of Stockport County full-back Ethan Pye (photo Jack McGraghan)</p>

Gateshead have secured the signing of Stockport County full-back Ethan Pye (photo Jack McGraghan)

Stockport County defender Ethan Pye has joined Gateshead on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old full-back made a handful of appearances for the current National League champions before joining National League North side Spennymoor Town on loan for the second half of last season.

Pye impressed during his time at Brewery Field, making 21 appearances as Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s side missed out on a play-off place.

But Pye will now get an opportunity to shine in non-league’s top tier after putting pen-to-paper on a season-long deal at the International Stadium on Friday.

The youngster has already experienced life on the south bank of the Tyne after featuring in Spennymoor’s 2-1 defeat against Mike Williamson’s side in February - and the performance of his new side played a key role in persuading him to join the Heed.

He told the club website: “The style of play is a big factor (in the move).

“Last season when I was on loan at Spennymoor we played here and I could see Gateshead wanted to play good football and play out from the back.

“That really intrigued me and to work with such a good tactical manager is probably one of the main reasons I wanted to come up here on loan.”

The defender could make his first Gateshead appearance when they host League Two club Harrogate Town in their latest pre-season friendly on Saturday afternoon.

The Heed are hoping to round off their preparations for their return to the National League with a final warm-up fixture next weekend.