Clarky’s at the wheel – Part 3

On to part 3 we go! And we’re barley three quarters of the way through, as we get onto some of the really obscure players.

Olly Scott (August 2019 – May 2021)

Nearly forgot to include Olly here as we never properly announced him. He featured in a few pre-season games and appeared in the team photo with many of us wondering who he was! A product of South Shields youth system, Olly was initially played in the centre of midfield and as a left back, scoring his first goal for Spartans in a defeat to Chester in early 2020.

He would survive Micky Nelson’s cull of the team after having a decent spell covering for Anth Callaghan at left back. His 2020/21 season didn’t exactly go to plan, with a dip in performances leading to him leaving the club once the season ended. It also didn’t help that a family member was supposedly trying to shop him around to bigger teams.

He started the 2021/22 season off at Consett in the Northern League, reportedly having a good spell and he was picked up by Kings Lynn in the National League just before Christmas after a short trial. Bit of a weird transfer, he’d feature a lot at left back as Kings Lynn crashed out of the National League. After a decent start to season in Norfolk, he’s recently just signed a deal until 2024!

Levi Amantchi LOAN (September 2019 – January 2020)

Right get ready for REALLY weird career path. The London born forward who grew up in Newcastle started off at Chesterfield, featuring 11 times before heading out on loan to Stavley Miners Walfare before joining Spartans on loan. From memory Levi wasn’t the greatest, a big target man that wasn’t the best with the ball at his feat but he did score the last second equaliser against Gateshead on NYD 2020 to make him a Spartans cult hero. Once his loan ended he went back to Stavley on loan and was released in the summer of 2020.

After spending the summer on trial with Middlesbrough under 23’, he was picked up by Workington on non-contract terms, playing just 1 game for them and u-turning on them straight away electing to sign for Alun Armstrong’s Darlington. To be fair, a few hours in Workington is enough for any sane man. He featured in just 2 league games for Darlo, leaving the club in November 2020 and signed for Spartans. Apparently, he played in 6 games, but I can only remember him featuring in the 6-0 drubbing away at Darlington.

Levi was clearly thrilled to be at Workington

He’d be released and somehow managed to get himself a few trials at EFL clubs, as well as playing some pre-season games back at Workington. He’d re-sign for the Cumbrian side, playing only 1 game. He’d move south to Redditch United, again only featuring once for the former Blue Square North side before he was on the move again… this time to Potters Bar Town, which is apparently a thing in London.

In 2022 he moved to Braintree Town of the National League South, where so far he’s managed to bag 6 goals in 14 appearances. Aged just 21 and finally getting settled at a club, it looks like Levi might finally explode onto the scene and become a top striker.

Jack Hunter (September 2019 – June 2020)

A former Newcastle youngster who captained the under 23’s, Jack was released in 2018 and signed for Gateshead. Part of the infamous side that had to put up with Joe Cala and Dr Ranjan Varghese, he’d leave the club in 2019. No word on if he spent time on trial with clubs in the summer 2019, as he didn’t sign for Spartans until the middle of September.

He was seen as a bit of a coup for Spartans at the time and would form a decent partnership alongside Lewis Hawkins in the middle. He’d often be a solid player who broke up the play well, but perhaps wasn’t as consistent as we expected and did underperform at times, especially knowing just how good he could be.

He left in June 2019, part of the list of players that were ‘not offered new deals’ but we’ve no idea if that was the case or he’d already lined up a move back to full time football at Gateshead. Back at the Heed, he’d have a decent half season until covid cancelled it and would play a key part in the 2021/22 team that won the league.

This summer he’d opt to leave the club however, moving to join up with FC Halifax.

Dylan McGlade (November 2019 – December 2019)

Admittedly, I’ve no clue why we brought him back in. The Irishman was picked up by Middlesbrough as a youngster where he’d meet Alun Armstrong. 

After his release of Middlesbrough in 2013, he’d move to Oxford before quickly moving back home to Ireland, featuring for Shelbourne, St Pat’s Athletic and Longford. At the end of the Irish league season in 2017 (that normally runs between February and November) he signed for Blyth, just after the 1899 club was launched. He’d only play 3 leagues for Blyth, leaving in February to re-join Longford right in time for the Irish season.

This time however he’d manage to score 14 goals in 23 games, earning a move to Bray Wanderers in Irish Premier League, having a good spell and moving to Blyth once again at the end of the Irish season.

Again, he’d be an afterthought and he’d depart (again, just in time for the new Irish season) and join ‘full time’ Cork City where he’d stayed ever since.

Zach Hemming LOAN (November 2019 – June 2020)

After years in Middlesbrough’s U18’s and U23’s, Zach finally got some senior football at Darlington during a month long loan. He joined Hartlepool in the summer of 2019 on a season long loan and was expected to be the first choice keeper, but he wouldn’t play a single league game for Pools and Boro recalled him in November, and he was sent straight to Blyth for the remainder of the season.

With Foden and Harker out of favour with Clark, Zach would have a decent start to life at Spartans but would become a terrace favourite after his performances and goal celebrations against Gateshead (both times). His ability alone wasn’t good enough though to stop Spartans sliding further into the relegation zone, but he went back to Boro at the end of his loan spell in high regard at Spartans.

He’d join Kilmarnock on loan in 2021, and become a star player for the Scottish side as they won the Scottish Championship whilst becoming a cult hero. He re-joined them again this summer but had delayed start to his season due to a groin injury, but has since played 9 SPL games and kept 2 clean sheets.

Kris Thackray (December 19 – January 20 LOAN) (January 20 – 2021)

Okay so, inconveniently for me, Kris had a fair few clubs before joining Blyth that I can’t be arsed to go into a massive amount of detail about them all so… here goes.

Kris spent time at Newcastle as schoolboy but was never offered a deal. No record of who he played for professionally or even at a semi pro level between 2004 and 2006 is available, but he was picked up by Italian side Reggina aged 18 after being scouted at an England College’s game, where he’d stay until 2011. Spells at clubs I’ve never heard of in Malta, Italy and Germany would follow before returning home to the north east in 2018, signing for Spennymoor Town. He’d feature in roughly half of Spenny’s games as they made the play offs.

That summer he’d be released and join Morpeth of the Northern Premier League. After some good performances he’d join Blyth, initially only on a month-long loan. Kris had a great month at Spartans and joined permanently in the January for what was essentially a swap deal for Ryan Hutchinson.

He’d be one of few players to survive the end of season cull and be a starter for Spartans in the 2020/21 half season. But his performances didn’t carry over sadly. He’d retire in the summer of 2021, aged 33.

Since then, Kris has moved into coaching, becoming a part of the set up at Park View/Chester-Le-Street United alongside former Spartans John Gamble and Graeme Pickering.

Jack Saunders LOAN (December 2019 – February 2020)

Don’t worry I forgot he was a thing as well. Jack started at Charnock Richard? Aye I’ve no clue either. After 2 and a half season he was picked up by Leek Town in 2018 before being purchased by Wigan Athletic in August 2019.

He joined Blyth a few days before Christmas, my only memories of him are Jack having an absolute shitter in the 4-1 defeat to Southport and Pieface absolutely hating him.

After Blyth he’s surprisingly done okay, as he joined Southport on loan despite the shitshow they witnessed from him. That loan of course was curtailed due to covid. His loan to Fylde later in the year was also curtailed due to covid.

He’d join up with Paul Stephenson and Hemming at Kilmarnock in 2021, featuring 14 times as they won the league. Currently he’s on loan at Cove Rangers in the Scottish Championship.

Corey McKeown (November 2019 – STILL HERE)

Once again nearly forgot to include him here cos again, we never announced him. After time at South Shields and Gateshead’s youth systems he joined Blyth for pre-season training but started the season off at Billingham Synonthia. I believe he first appeared against Boston in the November, making the odd appearance under Clark.

That summer he signed a new contract and was one of few players who kicked on and had a good season in the 2020/21 season, with the crowning moment being his wonder goal against Gateshead.

Many expected him to kick on and establish himself as a starter in the 2021/22 season, but a mixture of formation changes, manager changes and constant squad rotation would see him not hit his best form until the very end of the season, where he stole the show in the Northumberland Senior Cup final.

For me, Corey is best off in a 4-3-3 on the left-hand side but it’s been a while since he’s played in that sort of role. Hopefully with some reinforcements we can bring in a new forward and let him play out wide where he’s best off.

Mark Waddington LOAN (January 2020 – June 2020)

OH YEY ANOTHER LOAN. To be fair he wasn’t actually that bad, which is odd now that he seems to be out of football aged 26.

Mark started at Blackpool before getting a move to Stoke City, where he’d have loans at Falkirk and Killmarnock before being released in 2019. He’d sign for National League side Barrow but would only feature twice before he moved across to Blyth.

The midfielder did well at Blyth in the 9 games he played, but he’d be released by Barrow and seemingly didn’t have a club in 2020/21. He did sign for Warrington Town in 2021, but I can’t find any record of him playing a game. So far this season he doesn’t appear to be with a club.

Scott Wilson LOAN (January 2020 – June 2020)

Yet another loan… the Burnley native began his career with his hometown club where he’d join Spartans on loan from. He’d have a fairly forgettable spell playing both centre back and left back and was released by Burnley in 2020.

He moved to Barrow playing only 9 games, before dropping back into the National League North and being a key player for Curzon Ashton last season and earning a move to Chorley in August 2022, where he’s been an impactful player for them.