FootballHebburn Town

Hebburn add Foden and McKeown

Hebburn Town have today added former Gateshead goalkeeper Mark Foden and Morpeth Town midfielder Michael McKeown to their squad.

Foden, 23, has with a wealth of higher league and professional experience from the Scottish leagues spending most of his youth in the academy set ups in St Mirren, Ross County, Stirling and Stenhousemuir before making a move over the border to National League neighbours Gateshead FC.

He made two first team starts for Gateshead in the National League last season before making one appearance on loan for Blyth Spartans.

The Scotsman moved to Blyth Spartans on a permanent basis in the summer of 2019 and commanded the number one jersey making 13 appearances for the National League North club but became out of favour recently when the club brought in loanee Zach Hemming from Middlesbrough which created a great opportunity for Hebburn manager Kevin Bolam to bring Mark to the club.

On his acquisition, manager Kevin Bolam said: I’m really pleased to have Mark on board, he’s a great shot stopper and is very vocal, I have seen him on a few occasions and have been impressed as well as Steve (Director) and Vin (Chairman) seeing a lot of him last season when he trained at the ground with Gateshead FC, he’s a great addition and will make the squad stronger.”

As a result of the transfer, Bolam’s previous number one Andrew Jennison has been placed on the transfer list.

He said: “We have three goalkeepers now with Mark coming in, it’s very difficult and no-one wants to sit on the bench so we have agreed with Andy Jennison that he’ll go on the transfer list to allow him to seek alternative football elsewhere, Andy has been a great servant to the club, he’s a great lad and we wish him the best for his future.”

Midfielder McKeown, who also joins the Hornets, has been described by his former club Morpeth Town as a “Rolls Royce of a player”.

The 6ft 5ins man played for West Auckland Town and North Shields before joining Morpeth in the close season.

He made 10 substitute appearances at Craik Park, and has left due to a lack of game time.

Speaking to Morpeth’s website he said: “I’ve loved every minute of my time at Morpeth; the only thing missing was the game time.

“In the end that is what dictated my move. I can’t thank Ken (Beattie, the chairman) and the staff enough and I hope the club do well in the future.”

Bolam said of McKeown: “I’m really pleased to have Michael on board, he’s a talented player with bags of experience and someone who we need to bring that extra competition across the squad.”

Both players are expected to make their debut against Whitley Bay on Tuesday evening.