Hello and welcome to what will be the fourth and final article on potential transfer targets for Spartans this summer.

If you missed part one, two or three – you can find them at the aforementioned links. This should just about cover all the players that are worth talking about this summer (in the opinion of one arsehole anyway) though this is non-league football, and things are never all that simple when it comes to players. I’ve also likely missed the odd player here and there as well – but I think 4 of these covering roughly 50 players is enough for now! Anyway, on with the show.

Owen Gallacher – Left Back/Left Wing

A former Newcastle United youngster who ended up at Nottingham Forest, Owen’s career is a rather odd one – as the left sided playmaker hasn’t really been able to get settled anywhere. Between 2020 and 2023, he bounced between Harrogate Town, Burton Albion, Crawley Town, Gateshead and Grimsby Town before rocking up at Spennymoor Town last season.

A once highly touted youngster at Newcastle, Owen started his playing career as a winger but has dropped back in recent years to slot in the left wing back/left back role. Owen would likely be stand out player at this level, with his brilliant dribbling and crossing skills, while also being a more than capable defender.

Injuries however may be an issue for him, as they seemingly ruined his time at Spennymoor last season. He missed a fair bit of time at the start of the season and struggled to stay healthy at times it would seem. If we did go in for him, we’d need to do our due diligence and make sure he’s healthy again before offering him a deal.

Nathan Fisher – Goalkeeper

A tall and capable shot stopper with top notch reflexes, Nath spent some time with Spartans last season on a sort of unofficial loan/trial in the pre-season, while Alex Mitchell was away. He’d then spend some time on loan down in the Northern League, and then Newton Aycliffe before Middlesbrough gave him a new long-term senior contact this summer.

Boro seem to have high hopes for Nath and have been happy to loan him out to a few non-league teams already, so bringing Nath in definitely isn’t out of the question. He seemed to do rather well when out on loan last season, and while also featuring for Boro’s U21’s – so we could probably do a lot worse than him.

Jassem Sukar – Centre Back

A very experienced defender, Jas seemed to have torrid time at Darlington last season – though he did manage to recover his form to some extent during his loan at Scarborough Athletic. He is based in and around that area and traveling to Blyth might be a big ask, but if we made him a decent enough offer and were a bit flexible with his training, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be up for a move to Blyth.

Capable of covering at left back, Jas is quick, strong, dominant in the air and a strong tackler. At 27 he’s more or less in his prime as a defender – who has plenty of experience in both the NPL and the NLN. If we have any ambition of getting out of this league at the first try, Jas is the sort of player we need to be looking at.

Ellis Taylor – Right Winger/Left Winger

Hartlepool native Taylor is pacey and technical, which means he’s great at taking on a full back. He’s supposed to have a very good work rate and can even cover at left back as well.

A player that the local press had made a fuss of in the past, Ellis will doubt have plenty of options this summer due to his reputation and the hype that once surrounded him alone. After a bit of failed loan spell at Hartlepool United during the 2022/23 season, Taylor has more or less just been left to play academy football over the last 18 months or so. That being said, according to the Sunderland Echo (a rather questionable source of news) he’s done well in the academy in recent months.

Taylor seemingly has the technical ability to succeed at some level of full-time football, though he’s not had that much of a chance to show it at a senior level just yet. If he does end up being overlooked by some of the bigger teams in the area, he’d be a great addition.

Aaron Martin – Striker

Usually described as more of a Target Man, Aaron would certainly be the physical threat at the top of end of the pitch that we’ve lacked in recent seasons. Capable of playing out on the left flank as well, Aaron spent the 2022/23 season with Gateshead, before he jumping ship and joined South Shields. He featured 51 times across both those spells, but only managed 9 goals.

A man with Football League experience, Aaron may well find a bit more success in front of goal down in the NPL Premier Division. A rather strong and aggressive forward who is now 32 years old, Aaron would certainly do us for a season or so while were down in the glue league.

He is originally from the Sheffield area however, so there is a good chance he may move back home now he’s more or less finished in full time football. Plus Worksop and a few other teams around that area have cash to throw about, so moving back to that area and getting a good contract from one of those teams (likely Worksop as they like big shithouses) could well be on the cards.

Mitch Curry – Right Winger/Left Winger/Striker

A player that we covered last summer, Mitch had a strange season at Darlington during the 2023/24 campaign. For one reason or another, it doesn’t seem like he played up to his full potential. Mitch featured in less than 25% of Darlo’s minutes last season in the NLN, only getting to play a full 90 minutes just twice. It seems like he was chucked up front now and then, when in reality he’s a bit more effective on the wing.

At present he is still ‘in talks’ with Darlington, so I would have to presume he is still considering his options and listening to other clubs. If he was interested and we could offer him first team football and a canny wage, Mitch isn’t the most unrealistic of signings. He has had injuries in the past so he might be a gamble, but at the moment we may well be needing to take a gamble or 3.

Donald Chimalilo – Right Winger/Left Winger

Seemingly a North Yorkshire based player, Donald was one of few players at Marske United who were able to perform on a consistent basis despite the turmoil they were put through in first few months of the 2023/24 season. At Spenny, Donald only featured 10 times before getting the chop this summer.

With him being based a bit further down south, he may likely have a few offers closer to home but if he’s up for it – he may be someone that develops into a really handy player. Now 23-years-old, Donald would have to kick on rather quickly if he’s to reach his potential.

A gifted dribblier who has a good first touch and has a lot of pace, he may well be a rather exciting player to watch.

Alfie Henderson – Centre Midfielder

A North Shields born player who’s came through the ranks at Salford City, his contract at Salford is yet to be extended, so his future could be up in the air at the moment. If he does stay on with the Diet Mancs next season, then a loan move could be on the table, as he has spent time with 1874 Northwich and Stalybridge Celtic last season.

A bit on the small side, Alfie is a former NUFC schoolboy who ended up being picked up by Salford City as a youth before turning bro. A really strong tackler who likes to break up the, he also possesses an extremely high work rate. On top of that, he’s also rather canny on the ball – capable of picking a pass from a deeper midfield role.

He actually featured in a game against Spartans back in 2021, as the Salford City U18’s defeated Marc Nash’s Spartans U18’s in the FA Youth Cup.

Max Howells – Right Winger/Left Winger

Fresh of a very good loan spell at Whitby that helped him get a new contract at Middlesborugh this summer, they may well have plans to send him out on loan to a team higher up the pyramid this summer. If they don’t though, Max would be a great addition here.

A Stockton born lad with a Swedish family, Max has been at Middlesborough’s academy for the last 6/7 years, developing into a speedy winger who can comfortably use both feet. A brilliant dribbler with an eye for picking out a key pass. He may well be slight and possibly a bit undersized, but we’ve seen plenty of undersized players go onto bigger and better things over the years.

Jack Hannah – Centre Back

A player we covered as part of our deadline targets, Jack’s situation at Boro is seemingly still the same as it was a few months ago. Other than his short and sweet loan spell at Darlington last September, Jack hasn’t played any real senior football yet and with him turning 22 soon, that will likely need to change if they have any real plans for him in the future.

Standing at 6’1, Jack is good in the air, works hard and knows how to put a tackle in. He’s also captained the teams in academy in the past, so you’d like to think there is a natural leader in there. Like Max, Boro may wish to send Jack to a team higher up the leagues to get some game time. If that doesn’t happen though, Jack may well be a fine addition to the Spartans team.   

Morten Spencer – Defensive Midfielder/Centre Midfielder

A Norwegian who was born in and bred in Darlington (poor fucker), Morten was once a hot prospect in the Sunderland academy – even being linked with a move to Manchester City when he was just 14 (according to the scum). He eventually made it at Leeds United however, where after 6 years at the club his contract is due to expire this summer.

Spencer was never loaned out, and his only taste of senior football came in the Papa John’s Trophy – which EFL teams don’t usually tend to take seriously these days. That being said, Spencer has been highly regarded for many years and likely still has a future in full time football to some degree. However he may need to drop down to the non-league level to prove it.

A solid holding midfielder who can break up play as the ‘Ball Winning Midfielder’ while possessing the technical skills to be a ‘Deep Lying Playmaker’  – Morten can also even drop in at centre back. It’s likely he’ll seek out some full-time football though, be it in the North East or further afield. Hopefully he’s someone we’d be able to keep tabs on, should become available later in the summer.

Joe Gibson – Right Wing Back/Right Winger/Left Winger

Capable of playing just about anywhere on the flank, Joe was viewed by the Middlesborough academy as a player with unlimited potential – even making a first team appearance in the FA Cup a few years ago. Bar a single game for Darlington (at Croft Park of all places) he’s been chained to the academy at Middlesborough, making over 100 appearances for the U21’s over the years.

Comfortable using both feet, Joe recovered from a bad injury at the end of the 2022/23 season before his move to Darlington. A brilliant dribbler who likes to smash a long range effort at goal, Joe is an extremely technical sort of player with flair and pace for days. If he does find his feet and hit the ground running, he may well end up realising some of his potential and earn a move back into full time football.

Nathan Thomas – Right Winger/Left Winger

A player who’s had quite a few clubs, Nath has played at every level between the Northern League and the Championship in his 10+ years of senior football. Now 30, Nath is coming off a decent spell at Whitby Town after a short stint at Marske United in the first part of last season. Between both clubs, he featured 30 times in the league and scored 9 goals.

Nath would be likely best used on the right hand side, where he could cut on his left foot and cause all sorts of problems for opposition defenders. Thomas has the ability to play a bit higher, but he appears to have been over looked by both Spennymoor and Darlington in recent years. He’d likely command a canny wage but if he is interested, then he’s the perfect kind of player for us this summer. Experienced, great on the ball, pacey and can put the bull in the back of the net. Yes please.

And that’s that! I did and try find a few more right back’s in case Rhys is off, but most of the right backs out there in higher leagues have already agreed deals for next season. There are some players much higher up the pyramid, but the likes of Callum Johnson will definitely not be dropping down to our level. Gateshead right back Jordan Hunter will likely be on the chopping block this summer having been loaned back out to South Shields during the later half of the 2023/24 season, but he’ll no doubt be heading back to the Diet Mackems.

Speaking of Gateshead, they are the only team that are yet to put out a retained list, and I would maybe gather that Oli Thompson, Connor Pani and Lirak Hasani may all be options for us this summer. In terms of other players I’ve overlooked, Eddie Thomas has left just Whickham and appears to have a deal lined up. Still only 21 years old, he may still have something to offer. Midfielder Lewis Leech has also left, and while he isn’t someone I know a great deal about – he seems to be a fairly well regarded young player.

In terms of any glaring omissions, I really can’t see Finn Cousin Dawson stopping on – as it sounds like has offers from National League teams. The players on the Morpeth release list may well be realistic targets, but most of them are past their sell by date and have in the past, commanded big wages. Nathan Buddle was going to appear on here, but obviously he’s already sorted for next season with Morpeth.

As for the other players on the Toon’s released players list don’t really fit the bill. The talented ones are originally from other areas, so they’ll likely be off elsewhere. Some of the others will likely drop out of football, while others will likely kick around in the Northern League for a few years.

Dylan Stephenson is an exception to that, but he’ll likely end up in full time football this summer as he has multiple offers on the table seemingly. South Shields left back Blair Adams would also be a canny enough option, but the rumour mill seems to think he already has a club lined up.

Anyway, thank you for checking out this series of articles! These have (and always will be) been intended to be a bit of fun, while also educating supporter’s about the kind of players are potentially available in and around the local area, so don’t take this all too seriously!