Gateshead have moved on from National League North title heroics - Olley

The Heed are facing a new challenging amongst non-league’s elite this season.

Sunday, 17th July 2022, 6:06 pm
<p>Gateshead captain Greg Olley is looking forward to the new National League season (photo Charles Waugh)</p>

Gateshead captain Greg Olley is looking forward to the new National League season (photo Charles Waugh)

Gateshead captain Greg Olley has insisted his side have moved on from their National League North title win and are fully focused on the new season.

The Heed earned their first win of pre-season in impressive fashion on Saturday as Paul Blackett, Connor Pani and Louis Storey all netted in a 4-0 victory at Spennymoor Town.

It has been a summer of mixed emotions for Mike Williamson’s men after the departure of prolific forward duo Cedwyn Scott and Macaulay Langstaff to Notts County and Jack Hunter’s decision to join FC Halifax Town.

Williamson has added six new faces to his promotion-winning squad with Harrogate Town forward Aaron Martin becoming the latest new addition last week.

Gateshead will take the next step in their preparations for the new season when they visit Northern Premier League neighbours Hebburn Town on Tuesday and Olley revealed his side are determined to hit the ground running on their return to non-league’s top tier.

“Last season and winning the National League North was boxed off after the weekend of the last game of the season against Hereford,” he told The Echo.

“You’ve just got to move on, take heed from it and go into the new season with the confidence we gained last year.

“But this is a new season, last year is done and it’s all about what lies ahead.

“We’ve lost a few lads and there are a few new players have come in and they are looking really good.

“It’s all about getting us up to speed, getting back to how we want to play and making sure we are ready for day one of the new season.”

As it stands, Gateshead’s home friendly against Harrogate Town on Saturday will round off their on-field preparations for the new season.

However, the Tynesiders are hoping to arrange one final warm-up fixture on the final weekend of the month before they focus on their opening day visit to Dagenham and Redbridge.

That trip to London forms part of a challenging trio of fixtures with home clashes against Barnet and Notts County rounding off three games against former Football League clubs.

Olley refused to pay attention to the first league games of a long season and insisted he will only look at the immediate challenges that lie ahead.

“From the time when we were last in the division, Dagenham and Redbridge were more of a mid-table side, Barnet were struggling and Notts County weren’t even in the league.

“Dagenham have made some very good signings, as have Barnet, they’ve made five or six solid signings and then we know what Notts County have done.

“But for us, we just need to focus on ourselves, getting ourselves ready and make sure we are just completely focused on our own preparations and only concern ourselves with them when the first game comes around.”