Three in and one out at Morpeth Town

New Morpeth Town signing Lee McAndrew.
New Morpeth Town signing Lee McAndrew.

Morpeth Town begin their preparations for the new season with their first training session at Craik Park on Saturday.

With the exception of Matthew Grieve, who has moved to near neighbours Ashington, all of last season’s squad have re-signed for the club.

Manager Nick Gray has secured the services of Chris Smailes, a commanding centre half with professional experience at Doncaster Rovers, Ipswich Town, Bury, Rotherham, Oldham Athletic and Hamilton Academicals, who has joined from Dunston UTS.

Also joining the club from Dunston UTS is skilful winger Lee McAndrew. An FA Vase winner with his previous club, his close control and scoring record will strengthen the Morpeth attack.

The final addition to the squad is Jordan Nellis, a forward with lightning pace and an eye for goal who has signed from local rivals Bedlington Terriers.

The Highway Men have arranged seven pre-season fixtures, which will all be away from home.

Friday, July 10, Celtic XI (away), kick-off 7.30pm; Saturday, July 11, Rangers XI (away), kick-off 2.30pm; Saturday, July 18, Whitley Bay A (away Annitsford Welfare), kick-off 2pm; Tuesday, July 21, Walker Central (away), kick-off 7.30pm; Friday, July 24, Heaton Stannington (away), kick-off 7.30pm;

Wednesday, July 29, Jarrow (away), kick-off 7pm; Saturday, August 1, Ryton & Crawcrook Albion (away).

Morpeth’s Ebac Northern League division one campaign begins at home to Bishop Auckland on Saturday, August 8, kick-off 3pm at Craik Park.