Blyth Spartans’ Gavin Caines has joined South Shields on a dual-registration deal – in an effort to give the centre-back more game time.
The 33-year-old has made seven appearances for the club since his summer switch from fellow Evo-Stik Premier League side Rushall Olympic, but has not been involved in any of new manager Alun Armstrong’s first three games in charge.
Caines will still be available for Blyth games during his time with The Mariners, but Armstrong hopes that his spell with the Northern League side will be beneficial to both the defender and Blyth.
Armstrong explained: “I got a phone call off [Graham] Fenton, asking if he could take either Gav or Pelly [Richard Pell] to South Shields. I spoke to Gav and I told him that I hadn’t seen him play yet and there was no point putting him in when he’s not match fit – as he hasn’t played for a few weeks.
“I told Gav ‘go there and play a couple of games and I can put you back in when you’re match fit, so I can have a good look at you’. He’s quite happy to do that.
“It’s all about getting his fitness back up for us, plus it helps him and Shields out as well. We’ve got plenty of cover in that area, but he’s still there if I need him and I can call him up at any time.”
Caines was put straight into Shields’ starting line-up on Saturday and he justified his selection by scoring on his debut, helping The Mariners to record a 3-2 win over Ashington.