FORMER Newcastle United midfielder Matty Pattison - who had been training with Hartlepool United - has signed for Gateshead.
The 27-year-old had spent time training with Pools at their Maiden Castle base in Durham to keep himself fit but he has now signed for Conference side Gateshead - subject to international clearance.
The South African, who had been playing in his homeland for the past five years, had been looking to return to the North East.
During his time training with Pools, Pattison played in a behind-closed doors friendly against a Leeds Academy side.
Pools boss Colin Cooper told SportMail last month that he had offered Pattison the chance to come and train with his squad to keep himself fit and he has now signed for Gateshead.
Pattison told the Heed’s wesbite: “I’m really excited to get started.
“Hopefully my clearance will come through, and I can get stuck in straight away.
“I’ve missed English football. I’ve missed the banter you get. Over in South Africa, it’s not really the same – it’s a different culture there.
“But I know a few of the lads here, and I should have no problem settling in. I grew up here, and I know what Gateshead are all about.
Manager Gary Mills added: “There’s no two ways about it – Matty is the kind of player who will improve us.
“He’s my type of player. He has great vision, and is technically very, very good.”
Pattison was on the books at Newcastle United as a youngster, making ten senior appearances for the Magpies before switching to Norwich City in 2008.
There, he scored three times in 41 appearances, before returning to his homeland after one season at Carrow Road.
Since then, Pattison has enjoyed spells with Mamelodi Sundowns, Engen Santos and Bidvest Wits, and has also featured for his country on five occasions.