Dan Maguire completes Blyth Spartans return as Nathan Buddle, Michael Liddle, Jordan Watson and Josh Gillies follow suit
Striker Dan Maguire leads a list of five former Blyth Spartans players to secure a return to Croft Park on Thursday.
Maguire and defensive duo Michael Liddle and Jordan Watson all join Michael Nelson’s squad after they left National League North neighbours Darlington earlier this week.
Centre-back Nathan Buddle has signed up for a third spell after spending the last two seasons with Spennymoor Town and winger Josh Gillies returns to the club, 11 years after a short spell under Mick Tait.
In completing all five deals, Nelson has significantly strengthen his squad after a surprisingly hectic week at Croft Park.
It is the return of Maguire that will boost hopes that Spartans can improve after two seasons of struggle in the National League North.
The striker plundered his way to 159 goals in 310 games for the club before spending the last two seasons with York City and Darlington.
He said: “I am looking forward to it. It was a no-brainer really.
“It’s massive, I spent a lot of time here before I left to go to York and it’s good to be back again.
“When I spoke to Nelse and Kevin Scott, the club wants to push on out of these times.
“Hopefully, we can start winning some games, scoring some goals and making it an enjoyable place to come for players and fans.”
The addition of defensive trio Buddle, Liddle and Watson will give further reason for celebration for the Spartans faithful.
All three players were a key part of the club’s Northern Premier League title win in 2017 and helped Spartans establish themselves in non-league’s second tier before departing for pastures new.
Liddle – who returns for a second spell after leaving Darlington – is relishing the prospect of walking out at Croft Park once again.
“I am delighted, I am absolutely buzzing,” explained the full-back.
“I think everyone knows how I feel about the club and I have had a great couple of years down at Darlo, albeit in weird circumstances with Covid.
“I am delighted to get things sorted, to get back.
“I can’t wait to get back playing.”
Buddle and Watson return for third spells with Spartans after leaving Spennymoor and Darlington respectively.
The latter is hopeful that more new signings will follow and admitted that he is “raring to go” ahead of the new National League North season.
“It’s pretty surreal, I didn’t think I would be back, this is my third spell here, so I am raring to go,” explained the former Sunderland academy defender.
“With Blyth, with the history of Blyth, the fans, you know what you’re going to get, they’re a great bunch.
“Speaking to Nelse, the signings we are hoping to make, I think we are going to have a good team this season.”
Gillies re-joins Spartans after scoring one goal in 26 appearances during the 2009/10 season.
“Hopefully we can have a better season than the last couple of seasons.
“I played here before, the fans are good up here as well, and when he mentioned the players that are coming back, you get excited about playing with those players.
“Hopefully we can have a good season.”