Michael Nelson hopes to sign another experienced player at Blyth Spartans after Simon Heslop's arrival

Photo credit: Richard Waugh.Photo credit: Richard Waugh.
Photo credit: Richard Waugh.
Blyth Spartans manager Michael Nelson is hoping to add another experienced player to his squad after completing the signing of former York City midfielder Simon Heslop.

The former Hartlepool United defender oversaw his first game as permanent Spartans boss on Tuesday night when his side fell to a 3-0 defeat at Northern League Division One club Hebburn Town.

Two goals from former Darlington striker Amar Purewal and a second-half header from midfielder Robbie Spence gave the FA Vase semi-finalists a relatively comfortable win over a youthful-looking Spartans side.

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Former FA Trophy-winning captain Heslop appeared as a trialist alongside summer signings Matthew Elsdon, Kieran Charlton and Panos Katsamagkas and has now put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the Croft Park club.

Former Newcastle United academy goalkeeper Brendan Pearson and former Sunderland youngster Connor Bell also appeared for Spartans on South Tyneside.

After the game, Nelson admitted that he is looking to add more experienced figures to his ranks and revealed that hoping to make another breakthrough in the near future.

“I am working hard to get one or two experienced players in,” explained the Spartans boss.

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“As you have seen tonight, the majority of the lads are younger, they have a lot to learn.

“But we are hoping to have an experienced signing through the door soon and I am working hard on another one – although whether I have the funds for that one, I don’t know.

“Hopefully, if they both come in, that will help the lads out.

“It is tough – but we are working hard and doing everything we can do to get the right players in.”

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Nelson will now turn his attention to Friday’s night visit to face a Dunston UTS side managed by former Spartans defender Chris Swailes.

A friendly against National League club Hartlepool United is agreed – but as yet, date and time for the fixture is yet to be confirmed.

Nelson described the difficulty of putting together a pre-season schedule with leagues at all levels of the league pyramid getting their seasons underway at different dates.

He said: “It’s hard to get pre-season games at the minutes because everyone below us is starting their season next week and everybody above is doing the same.

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“Even trying to get things signed off so we can play friendlies has been tough – but we are at that stage and hopefully we can learn from what we are seeing.

“It’s hard to try and arrange games so we were pleased that the Hebburn game went ahead, because there was a point when we didn’t think it would.

“It was our first game, so it was nice to get it out of the way.”