New signing Dan Wilson has revealed that the persistence shown by manager Mark Collingwood was the decisive factor in his decision to join Seaham Red Star.
Wilson was left without a club after Blyth AFC chairman Barry Elliott decided to bring down the curtain on the Braves’ last week.
The former North Shields striker had started the season in fine form with five goals from his first five games and there was no shortage of interest when he became available.
A number of Northern League clubs made contact with Wilson but it was Collingwood’s attitude that persuaded him to join the club ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Bishop Auckland.
“I spoke with a few other clubs in both divisions of the Northern League,” explained Wilson.
“It was strange because I was on holiday in Paris when the Blyth news broke so I was trying to sort a new club whilst I was away.
“This move feels right because the manager seemed the most willing to get me signed.
“There were others but he seemed to want me here more and now I just want to play.”
Wilson goes straight into the Red Star squad for the trip to Heritage Park along with Spennymoor Town loanee Cieran Jackson.
Liam Hodgson makes a welcome return but Collingwood will be without defenders Matthew Lowrie and Darryll Donnelly and striker Warren Byrne.
Wilson believes that his new side face a difficult test against the Two-Blues but expressed his desire to carry on his own good form and help Red Star build on two positive results.
He said: “I’ve started the season well with Blyth but now it’s a fresh start.
“Bishop Auckland won’t be easy for us but we go there on a positive note after a win at Durham City in the FA Vase and a draw against West Auckland Town in the league.
“Now it’s a case of getting something on Saturday and preparing for the Vase game next weekend.”
Bishop Auckland manager Ian Chandler is without suspended striker Chris Winn but Michael Hoganson and Lewis Gibbons are available once again.
Elsewhere in Division One West Auckland will hope to improve on their midweek draw against Red Star by taking all three points at Newton Aycliffe.
Ashington will hand late fitness tests to Matthew Wade and Gerard Richardson ahead of their home game against Whickham and North Shields could hand a start to new signing Sean McRoberts when they travel to Penrith.
In Division Two, Easington Colliery joint-manager Craig Hughes believes his side need to regain their early-season form.
The Colliers made a blistering start to the season by winning the first five games of the campaign.
They have stuttered over the last two weeks after a defeat against Billingham Synthonia and a 1-1 draw at Tow Law Town.
Washington visit Welfare Park tomorrow and Hughes wants to see his side bounce back from their dip in form with a win over the improving Mechanics.
He said: “Although we were happy with a point in the end, we’ll be looking for a response after last weekend’s game at Tow Law.
“Washington are a side who have picked up some decent results recently and we’ll need to play well to take the points.
“We need to get back to the form that we showed in the first few games of the season.”
The Colliers will be without injured duo James Talbot and Brennan Ball but Kyle Middleton could be handed a start after returning from injury.
Washington, meanwhile, have made a number of players available for transfer after the departure of manager Olly Hotchkiss.
Durham City travel to Birtley Town tomorrow looking to secure their first win and goal since the opening day of the season.
The Citizens have gone seven games without scoring and sit fourth from bottom of the table after Tuesday night’s home defeat against Esh Winning.
Manager Mikey Weston insisted his side deserved more from the game against Esh but backed them to turn it around against Birtley.
“We were gutted about the final result on Tuesday night against Esh Winning,” admitted Weston.
“The performance was a lot better. I don’t know how we didn’t get anything from the game.
“We look forward to the Birtley game and I hope we can turn it around.”
Weston will have to do without Steven Telford after he dislocated his shoulder in the midweek defeat and they will take a late check on the fitness of David Harrison ahead of the game.
Chester-le-Street Town face a tough test of their early-season form when they travel to Druid Park to face West Allotment Celtic.