Former Sunderland youngster Liam Agnew reveals the main factor behind joining Blyth Spartans
New Blyth Spartans signing Liam Agnew has revealed that the persistence of manager Michael Nelson was a “massive factor” in his decision to move to Croft Park.
The former Sunderland under-23s midfielder held initial talks with the Spartans boss earlier this month – but the deal was officially completed in the aftermath of his departure from Harrogate Town earlier this week.
Agnew spent last season on loan at Spartans’ National League North rivals Gateshead and played alongside Nelson during his time at the International Stadium.
After agreeing to become the latest addition to the Spartans squad, Agnew revealed that he had been impressed with what he had seen from his new manager in their time as team-mates and during negotiations over the deal to move to Croft Park.
He said: “I’ve been speaking to Nelse for a little while.
“It’s taken a while to get everything signed off at Harrogate and getting this deal done as well.
“I’m glad it’s over the line and I can’t wait for the season to start now.
“Nelse showed the most interest - he was really keen to get me in.
He continued: “Once I sat down and thought about everything, my gut feeling was to join Blyth so hopefully, it’ll pay off!
“I’ll be coming to Blyth to win games and take it from there.
“I worked with Nelse last year and he was absolutely brilliant.
“I used to give him a bit of stick so it’s going to be a bit weird calling him gaffer now!
“He was a brilliant coach last year; I just knew he had managerial potential.
“He was a massive factor in me deciding to join the club.
Agnew’s addition will be a major boost to Nelson as he continues to mould a squad capable of competing in the National League North throughout the new season.
The 25-year-old played a part in Gateshead’s unsuccessful play-off campaign earlier in the summer, but revealed that he will need to get minutes under his belt as he searches for match fitness.
He said: “I can't wait to join up and train with the lads. At least I’ll get to see the lads a couple of times before the season starts.
“I just can’t wait to train, play and get match fit.
“I’m feeling good but training can only get you so far.
“I haven’t had much time off after the play-offs as I was back in pre-season training with Harrogate.
“I’ve had another mini pre-season and I’ve kept it ticking over during the last few weeks.
“I’m fit but nothing can replicate minutes, so I’ll be hoping to get minutes straight away.”