Blyth Spartans AFC is thrilled to announce Nathan Buddle as our new club captain.
Buddle first moved to Croft Park in 2013 from Hartlepool United and has been at the heart of the club’s success since then.
Describing it as the highlights of his career, the defender formed a formidable partnership with Ryan Hutchinson during the 2014/15 FA Cup run, which ultimately earned him a switch to League Two side Carlisle United.
From the Cumbrians, Buddle joined Gateshead but would soon be back in South East Northumberland on loan before sealing a permanent return in 2016.
Buddle was a key part of the team that lifted the Northern Premier League and Northumberland Senior Cup in 2017 and the one that secured a National League North play-off spot.
Only Dan Maguire (310) has made more Blyth appearances than Buddle out of the current squad (236).
On being appointed captain, an honoured Buddle said: “I’ve fallen in love with the club and this is why I’m back again.
“There’s something about the football club. If you speak to the likes of Nipa, Lidds, Reidy and Jordan Watson, they’ll tell you the same.
“The last two seasons, from this football club’s point of view, hasn’t been good enough.
“First and foremost, everyone’s standards have to be in the right place. I want to make sure the club is pushing in the right direction and not looking back.
“For the gaffer to instill that trust in me is massive. There’s plenty of experience and leaders in this squad, so to be asked to take on that responsibility is a massive honour.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
Michael Nelson, manager of Blyth Spartans, said: “Nathan is someone who has played a good number of games for the club and knows the club well.
“I feel he is right for the role of captain by both his presence on and off the pitch.
“He is a strong vocal character who already has the respect of the squad.”
Meanwhile, JJ O’Donnell, a summer signing from Gateshead, has been appointed vice captain.
O’Donnell said:” It’s a great honour to be chosen by the gaffer to be vice-captain of the club. We’ve got a good leader on the pitch in Budds and I want to help him on the pitch as much as off it.
“I’ve said before that things need to change this season and it’s up to us as players to do that on the pitch.
“We need to represent the club and the supporters on the pitch and give you a team to be proud of and starting on Saturday with our first pre-season game, that’s what we will be doing.
“I’ll do my best to help the younger players and even the older players with trying to lead by example and hopefully create a great bond between players, staff, the board and supporters to give us the best chance of having a successful season”
Nelson added: “JJ I feel will compliment Nathan with his role of vice-captain.
“He is a very positive character and has a natural instinct to praise and encourage.
“This, I feel, will be very important to some of the younger squad members and will help them gain confidence and develop over time.”
You can hear from Buddle on being appointed captain via BSAFCTV.