Shrewsbury Town flier Alex Gilliead eager to impress and develop
New signing Alex Gilliead insists it was the chance to develop that attracted him to Shrewsbury after joining from boyhood side Newcastle yesterday.
The winger, 22, has signed a two-year deal after checking out of St James’ Park.
Former Bradford loanee Gilliead turned down Championship interest in his services, as well as other League One sides, to join as John Askey’s fourth Shrewsbury signing.
The pacy and tricky wideman, who will make his Town bow behind closed doors against Kidderminster Harriers today, has made 94 Football League appearances across loans with Carlisle, Luton and Bradford.
“I’ve got to feel at home and speaking to people in and out of the game, I know what I need to improve on,” said Gilliead.
“Coming here I felt it would give me the best opportunity of what I needed to do and what I needed to improve on for myself.
“It was obviously a big decision and you want it to be the right decision. Me and my girlfriend came down on Monday and had a look around.
“We spoke to people and thought it was a good environment, it felt right.
“Getting to two finals, the Checkatrade final and the play-off final were both outstanding achievements and it’s something that we’ve got to build towards this season.”
Meanwhile, Askey will run the rule over three central midfield trialists with Football League experience as he oversees his first game as Shrewsbury boss today.
The boss is keen to get at least one fresh face in that position after losing last season’s skipper Abu Ogogo to Coventry.
Town tackle National League North side Kidderminster at an undisclosed location where Askey plans to use the bulk of his 18-man senior squad – as well as first and second-year professionals and trialists – during the warm-up fixture.
Askey described the midfield trio: “Two of them are similar and one’s a little bit different, different age groups as well. One’s about 22 and the others are touching 30.
“They have got league experience so we know they’ve got decent quality.
“Shrewsbury’s got a good reputation of developing players which helps in recruitment Hopefully they can come in, see it’s a decent club and environment to play. If you do that then you’ll attract guys.”
Goalkeepers Jake Kean and Nick Townsend, and midfielder Devonte Redmond, who were on trial in Spain, will not be signed by Town.