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STEPHEN WEARNE | Gateshead return was an ‘easy decision’
Jack McGraghan
Author: Jack McGraghan

27th May 2023

Stephen Wearne admits it was an ‘easy decision’ to return to Gateshead ahead of the 2023/24 season.

The forward has put pen to paper on a two-year deal to join The Heed’s ranks once more, having spent the final month of the 2022/23 season on Tyneside.

“It was an easy decision,” he said.

“After playing here towards the end of last season, there was only one place that I wanted to play my football.

“There were a couple of discussions before the end of the season and it was actually agreed a while ago, but I wanted to repay the faith that the staff have had in me since I first arrived. 

“I was never really going to look anywhere else, it was always that I wanted to stay at Gateshead.”

The 22-year-old joined the club’s bid for National League survival in March and went on to play a key role in securing fifth tier football for the upcoming campaign, scoring once and recording six assists in 11 games.

Photo: Emilio Kirtley

Wearne slotted in effortlessly on the pitch as Gateshead become one of the division’s finest teams in the second half of the season, achieving the aim of survival by finishing 11 points clear of the bottom four.

“Everything about the place, including the way that the gaffer and Busted try to play, suited me well,” he added.

“There is a great group of lads here and there are great people around the club.

“With the way everything went last season, there was never going to be a reason for me to go anywhere else.

“We showed towards the back end of the season how good a team we can be, and if we take that into next season then who knows what can happen.

“We showed in our performances that we can give any team a game, and especially in this league we have a unique way of playing.

“I don’t think anyone else plays like us, so if we can get that right we’re a really difficult team to play against.”

Photo: Emilio Kirtley

Wearne’s six assists in 11 games ranked as the club’s fourth highest last season, despite the forward playing at least 37 games fewer than those above him.

A full season of National League football is to come on Tyneside come August, and he feels an exciting campaign awaits.

“Hopefully it’s going to be the first year where I’ll have a full season of games under my belt,” he said.

“I’m excited to see what I can achieve personally, but also what we could achieve as a team.

“I’ll have targets and individual goals, but it can be difficult if you focus too much on those rather than your actual game. 

“If I do everything right on and off the pitch then I think those will take care of themselves.

“With the players we have and the way we want to play, I think it’s going to be an exciting season.”

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