Thunder add nine to squad

Gateshead have continued their investment in local talent by signing a further four players for their 2011 squad.

The four are Paul Dodsworth, Gary Sargeant, Gary Bates and James Clarkson, and they will be joined next season by 2010 squad members Ade Aderiye, David Cash, Karl Brandt, James Hall and Phill Wall, who have all signed new deals.

Prop Dodsworth first broke through the Thunder academy in 1999 before playing for York Acorn and Jarrow Vikings, while Sargent came through the Harlequins academy system before relocating to the north east to study at Northumbria University.

Bates played last season for the Thunder Under 18s, while Clarkson joins from the Castleford Panthers after impressing on trial.

This takes the total squad numbers to 39, and Head Coach Richard Pell is confident that all the players will be fighting for the starting 17 jerseys.

Pell commented: “The squad is coming together well and with the club’s proposed ‘reserve grade’ about to start in 2011, there will be opportunities for everyone to play.”

“However, which team they play in is completely up to them.”

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