Blyth Spartans youngsters commit future to National League North club as Michael Nelson re-signs four

Corey McKeown (photo: Kris Hodgetts)Corey McKeown (photo: Kris Hodgetts)
Corey McKeown (photo: Kris Hodgetts)
Blyth Spartans youngsters Jamie Clark and Corey McKeown have committed their futures to the National League North club.

Clark made his senior debut at Kettering Town in November after graduating through the club’s Under-19’s system.

The youngster started games against Boston United, Brackley Town and Gateshead and became one of the positive aspects of a difficult season at Croft Park.

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Spartans manager Michael Nelson admitted that Clark is a work-in-progress but revealed that he retains the belief of the club’s coaching staff after he penned his first senior deal.

He said: “Jamie came into the team at a difficult time last season and stood up to the challenge in front of him.

“He has some real positive aspects to his game but is still young and raw.

“He will need coaching and developing over time, but we believe in him.”

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Fellow youngster Corey McKeown has also put pen-to-paper on a new contract and immediately set his sights on making an impact next season.

“With the number of lads released, to be offered a new deal proves I’ve impressed the manager,” explained the attacking midfielder.

“I didn’t get as much game-time as I wanted to last season. With a bit more experience, I feel I can push on.”

Nelson got his preparations for the 2021/22 National League North season underway last week when he confirmed the release of 13 players.

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However, two of his senior men have been handed new deals as the Spartans boss looks to build a squad capable of moving on from two challenging years.

Full-back Rhys Evans has become a popular figure amongst the Green Army since joining the club from Newcastle Benfield and he has signed a new contract.

Former Blackburn Rovers and Gateshead forward Connor Thomson has also committed to Spartans and Nelson has praised the duo as they extended their time at Croft Park.

“Rhys has a great attitude and work ethic,” said Nelson.

“We feel he is someone who will continue to develop and get better. I’m extremely pleased he is staying with us.

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“Thompa showed some real positive signs at times last season.

“We feel he can build on that this year and show them more consistently.”

Nelson will now turn his focus towards adding new faces to his squad over the coming weeks.