Sunderland RCA captain Greg Swansbury revealed that he snubbed a number of clubs to sign a contract with the Northern League Division One club.
The centre-back has become a key figure in the RCA squad since joining the club from Washington in 2016 and has formed a formidable defensive partnership with Ross Preston.
A number of clubs from higher up the non-league pyramid expressed an interest in his services for the new season, but Swansbury admitted that his mind was only ever set on staying at the newly-named Sunderland LGV Park.
He said “I’ve had some really good offers since the season ended, but in all honesty, I didn’t want to go anywhere else.
“We have a great bunch of lads at RCA and we are definitely on the verge of something special.
“We have a great bond that runs through the club and it’s a pleasure to play with great players and great lads.”
The move comes as a big boost to RCA manager Martin Swales as he ties down a player that was named as the club’s Players’ player of the year, management player of the year and committee player of the year last season.
Swales spoke to the Echo in the last few weeks of the season and stressed his belief that some of his key players would attract interest from other clubs in the region.
Swansbury is one of those players and it is believed that a number of clubs expressed an interest in signing the defender– including Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division club Whitby Town.
Swales believes that the deal was “absolutely huge” for the club and expressed his delight that his captain will be staying with the club for the new season.
He told The Echo “Teams from the Evo-Stik League have been chasing Greg, so for him to commit is great news.
“Signing Greg on a contract is absolutely huge for the club.
“Greg is always a pleasure to work with and he is one the best captains I’ve worked with.
“He gets great respect from the players and everyone connected with the club.
“Greg and Ross (Preston) are the best centre-backs in the league and they are both leaders, not just on the pitch but off the pitch.
“We have shown how serious we are in our ambitions and we will be working hard in the coming days and weeks, in securing the rest of last season’s players.”
Meanwhile, RCA have confirmed that they will face a Sunderland XI in a pre-season friendly at the Sunderland LGV Stadium on Saturday 13th July.