Bland is back at Whitby

Shane Bland
Shane Bland

Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy has moved quickly to snap up former goalkeeper Shane Bland.

Bland departed the Blues for Spennymoor in 2017 after making 221 appearances for the club.

A frustrating spell followed at Spennymoor, resulting in the gloveman signing for West Auckland.

Boss Hardy has moved to bring fan favourite Bland back to the club after releasing his two keepers Jack Norton and Adam McHugh.

“I’m delighted to be back, it’s a fantastic club to play for,” the returning Bland said.

“It’s been almost two years away from the club, so I’m raring to get started.

“Things like the North Riding final at the Riverside, that’s a very bold memory.

“In the same season we finished two points outside the play-offs.

“There was also the rollercoaster rides of surviving relegation two seasons in a row, so I have fond memories and I’m looking forward to getting going again.

“With the backroom staff - Hardy, Bully (Lee Bullock) and Macca (Dave McTiernan) now playing a part - it’s absolutely fantastic.

“Getting involved with the community and the Soccer School too, it was an absolute no-brainer to come back.”

Bland’s return to the club has been much anticipated, with the goalkeeper himself holding long-term ambitions to find his way back to the Turnbull Ground, to play for a club ‘close to his heart’.

“There were big influences with the management team, the players already here and the familiar faces from when I was last here,” he added.

“I came to watch the game against Scarborough on New Year’s Day and being back at the club then, it had a really good feel, and I felt at home.

“That’s the main thing, wanting to enjoy my football and wanting to feel a part of something that’s close to your heart.”