Joint managers Lee Picton and Graham Fenton have committed their long-term futures to South Shields by signing new five-year contracts.
The deals will keep the management duo at Mariners Park until the summer of 2023 as they continue to oversee the club’s first-team and 16-19 academy programme.
Picton and Fenton took over the running of the first-team in September 2016, and have since gone on to achieve remarkable success. Two league titles, two promotions and three further cup wins have been secured, while numerous club records have been broken.
The pair are now hoping for further success in the years ahead after committing their long-term futures to the club. Picton said: “We’re delighted that (chairman) Geoff Thompson, (managing director) Keith Finnigan and the club as a whole are willing to show this level of commitment in us.
“To get the opportunity to build over quite a long period of time with the solid foundations the club has put together over the last three years or so, is an unbelievable opportunity for us and one that we’re absolutely relishing over the next few years.
“There is expectation and pressure at the club, like a lot of clubs, but it’s a good expectation and good pressure.
“We’d like to think we thrive under that pressure and it keeps us – and everyone – on our toes.
“Each and every day, you recognise how lucky you are to be doing something that you absolutely love doing, and be part of a club that really is going places.
“I don’t wake up every morning feeling like I’ve got a heavy burden on my shoulders.
“It’s more an excitement to get up and really go at it that day, and try to take small steps forward to help us achieve our longer-term goals.”
Fenton joined Picton at Mariners Park in September 2016 after leaving his role as manager at North Shields. He is equally as excited about the future at Shields as the club aims to further progress up the pyramid. Fenton said: “These now contracts are a big commitment from both ourselves and the club.
“We’re delighted that Geoff and Keith have offered us that length of contract, because it shows huge faith in us.
“We want to be a part of the trajectory the club is going on, which is positive at both first-team and Academy level.
“We’ve put a lot of work into the first-team and the Academy, and we’re hoping that both sides of the club continue to progress and get better.
“The five-year contract is huge for us to be able to put in the time, effort and commitment to see it through.
“We don’t know how long it’s going to take us to get to where we need to get to, but we’ll certainly be giving it our best shot over the next five years to progress the club forward.”
Article: Daniel Prince
Source: Shields Gazette