Ex-Newcastle defender Mike Williamson offers verdict on Jonathan Woodgate
Gateshead manager Mike Williamson believes that Middlesbrough’s decision to appoint Jonathan Woodgate gives hope to up and coming English managers.
The former Newcastle United defenders are both in the early-stages of their managerial careers and their two sides go head-to-head in a pre-season friendly at Gateshead’s International Stadium on Wednesday night.
Just like Woodgate, Williamson in preparing for his first season in senior management with the National League club and he revealed his admiration for his opposite number ahead of the game.
“He was always someone I admired as a fellow defender,” explained the Heed boss.
“I didn’t play against him, but he was a fantastic centre-back and someone that did it at the highest level over a number of years.
“His ability was unquestionable; his technique was excellent, he was very calm and collected and he was someone that I watched very closely.
“It’s fantastic to see him getting a change to manage Middlesbrough and he is clearly very well thought of at the club.
“I have heard a lot of good things about him and it’s great to see him getting a chance at a very good level.
“It gives a bit of hope to all young English managers that they might get a chance at some point too.I am looking forward to the game and his side will provide a stern test for our opening pre-season game.”
Gateshead have received a further boost ahead of the game after key duo Greg Olley and Scott Barrow committed to the club for the new season.
Both players could make an appearance against Boro and Williamson will also use the game to look at a number of trialists as he looks to put together a Gateshead squad capable of securing an immediate return to the National League.
Former Leeds United youngster Romario Vieira is set to make an appearance, along with a number of summer signings including defender Alex Nicholson, midfielder Liam Agnew and forward Jordan Preston.
Kick-off at the International Stadium is at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at £8 adults, £5 concessions, £2 under-16s and under-12s go free with a paying adult.