Liam Agnew has revealed the huge part manager Michael Nelson played in his decision to join Blyth Spartans.
Agnew, 25, put pen to paper on a deal at Croft Park on Thursday evening to become Nelson’s latest recruit.
The pair know each other well following their time at Gateshead together last season, and Agnew has heaped praise on his new manager.
Agnew told blythspartans.com: “Nelse showed the most interest – he was really keen to get me in.
“Once I sat down and thought about everything, my gut feeling was to join Blyth so hopefully it’ll pay off!
“I’ll be coming to Blyth to win games and take it from there.”
He added: “I worked with Nelse last year and he was absolutely brilliant. I used to give him a bit of stick so it’s going to be a bit weird calling him gaffer now!
“He was a brilliant coach last year, I just knew he had managerial potential.
“He was a massive factor in me deciding to join the club.”
Agnew will meet his new teammates next week when the club’s self isolation period ends on Tuesday and train before the FA Cup game on October 3.
“I can’t wait to join up and train with the lads,” said Agnew. “At least I’ll get to see the lads a couple of times before the season starts.
“I just can’t wait to train, play and get match fit.
“I’ve spoken to a couple of the lads already. I know Hessy (Simon Heslop) from York, Blacky (Paul Blackett) and Thommo (Connor Thomson) from Gateshead and everyone knows the likes of Robbie Dale.
“It will be very nice to see some old faces.”
The midfielder was a regular for Gateshead last season as they reached the National League North play-offs in July.
Following the end of his loan spell at the International Stadium, Agnew returned to Harrogate Town for pre-season.
He says he is feeling fit and is eager to challenge for a place in the starting XI.
“I’m feeling good but training can only get you so far,” Agnew added.
“I haven’t had much time off after the play-offs as I was back in pre-season training with Harrogate.
“I’ve had another mini pre-season and I’ve kept it ticking over during the last few weeks.
“I’m fit but nothing can replicate minutes, so I’ll be hoping to get minutes straight away.”