Vanarama Conference club Gateshead have announce the signing of South African midfielder Matty Pattison, subject to international clearance.
Pattison, 27, was on the books at Newcastle United as a youngster, making ten senior appearances for the Magpies before switching to Norwich City in 2008.
There, he netted three times in forty-one appearances, before returning to his homeland after a solitary season at Carrow Road.
Since then, Pattison has enjoyed spells with Mamelodi Sundowns, Engen Santos and Bidvest Wits, and has also featured for his country on five occasions.
Back in the North East after a six-year absence, Pattison is relishing the chance to play an integral part in the Heed’s promotion push.
He said: “I’m really excited to get started. Hopefully my clearance will come through, and I can get stuck in straight away.
“I’ve missed English football. I’ve missed the banter you get. Over in South Africa, it’s not really the same – it’s a different culture there.
“But I know a few of the lads here, and I should have no problem settling in. I grew up here, and I know what Gateshead are all about.
“Our target this season has to be promotion. Going up automatically would be great, but if we have to go up through the play-offs, then so be it.”
After Carl Finnigan’s move last month, Pattison becomes the second player to arrive at the International Stadium from South Africa.
And it is hoped that the midfielder’s clearance will come through in a similar timeframe to that of Finnigan.
Manager Gary Mills believes the new recruit adds an exciting new element to his squad. He said: “There’s no two ways about it – Matty is the kind of player who will improve us.
“He’s my type of player. He has great vision, and is technically very, very good.
“And as a left-footed player, he’ll also bring something a little bit different to the table.
“I’m delighted to secure his signature.”