Ex-Newcastle United man Owen Bailey closing in on National League North title with Gateshead

Former Newcastle United midfielder Owen Bailey is closing in on claiming the National League North title with Gateshead - and is keen to extend his stay at the International Stadium.

By Mark Carruthers
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 12:57 pm

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The 23-year-old has enjoyed a productive first season in senior football after becoming a key part of Mike Williamson’s plans on the south bank of the Tyne.

Bailey scored his fourth goal of the season as the Heed moved to within a point of securing a return to the National League with a 3-1 home win against Southport on Saturday.

All focus now turns towards Monday’s visit to Chorley - although Gateshead could still secure the title without a point at Victory Park if second placed Brackley Town fail to win at Hereford.

Bailey has experienced a fine first year in the senior game after signing a one-year deal ahead of the season - and that could be followed by a second year if and when Gateshead take up an option in his contract.

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The hardworking midfielder reflected on a remarkable season and revealed his desire to continue his development with the Heed.

He told The Echo: “I couldn’t have imagined it would have went this way.

“I remember signing for the club and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we would be in the position we are in right now.

“That’s testament to the squad, the players, the fans and everyone involved at the football club.

“What we have created so far has been outstanding and I have enjoyed my time so far.

“I am waiting to hear what happens next year - but I would love to stay here and kick on with this club.”

Bailey is likely to be handed another start when the Heed look to bring a successful conclusion to their title bid at Chorley.

The former Newcastle Under-23s captain revealed his delight at finding the net in the weekend win against Southport - but is adamant his only focus is now on claiming the result needed to be declared as champions on Monday afternoon.

He said: “Scoring the goal was up there with probably the best moments of my career, it doesn’t get much better.

“But nothing has changed with the league, it’s on to Monday and it’s on to the next one.

“That mentality has got us this far, we win a game, we move on and prepare.

“We are looking forward to it and we will make sure we are ready for it as best we can.”