Simon Heslop is relishing the challenge of becoming Blyth Spartans’ new club captain.
Manager Michael Nelson has chosen Heslop as the man to lead Blyth into the new season, which gets underway this afternoon at Whitley Bay in the FA Cup.
He takes over from club legend Robbie Dale, who retired this week having appeared 680 times and scored 212 goals.
Heslop has tasted his own success as a captain in the past, captaining York City to the FA Trophy at Wembley in 2017.
“I’m relishing the challenge,” said Heslop. “Robbie retiring is a big blow for us but we have to respect his decision.
“He’s been a great servant to the club and the fans love him but we’ve got to try and move on without him now.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of replacing him as captain.
“We want to give the Blyth supporters a lot to cheer about this season and put in a really positive one.”
So, did the request from Nelson come as a shock?
“A little bit yeah but I think the gaffer knew about my character when he brought me into the club.
“He’s been able to see me in pre-season and seen that professionalism and the way I go about things. Obviously, he likes that.
“I’ve played a lot of games now. I’ve been at a lot of clubs – I’ve seen it all to be honest now!
“My past experiences should stand me in good stead but most importantly, I’ll just make sure my performances are as strong as possible and lead by example.
“I wouldn’t say I am a massive shouter and baller. I’ll definitely say something If think something has to be said.
“But again, I just want to lead by example with the standards that I set, on and off the pitch.
“Hopefully the lads will follow my lead a little bit on that.”