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Kendrick joins Spartans on a three-month deal; BLUE SQUARE BET NORTH STEVE BROWN.

BLYTH SPARTANS have signed former Newcastle United defender Joe Kendrick. The 28-year-old has arrived from Mansfield Town on a three-month loan deal, meaning he will stay at Croft Park for the remainder of this season.

The Dublin-born left-back goes straight into Tommy Cassidy's squad for tomorrow's Blue Square Bet North home clash with Solihull Moors.

A Spartans spokesman said: "Joe is a long-time target of the Spartans and was a regular attendee of training sessions at Blyth under Harry Dunn.

"He even played in a trial game for the club at Peterlee, but the club and player were never able to strike a deal.

"With a wife and young family, the defender was keen to return to the North East, where he is based, so the loan deal works out for all parties concerned." Having started his career at St James' Park, where he was a regular in the Magpies' reserves, Kendrick then joined TSV 1860 Munchen in the German Bundesliga.

However, a serious injury sustained in one of his first training sessions meant his career in Germany never took off.

He returned to the UK with Darlington and has since gone on to play for Workington and Newcastle Blue Star, where he played under Cassidy, as well as Torquay United, Tamworth.

A Republic of Ireland under-21 international, he also played abroad during spells in Ireland with Drogheda, Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers, and in Azerbaijan with PFC Neftchi.

After joining the Stags last summer, Kendrick has made 14 appearances for the Field Mill outfit this season.

He will now provide competition for Phil Cave at left-back as well as muchneeded experience in Blyth's fight for survival as they host 14th-placed Solihull 12 points from safety.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 3, 2012
Words:286
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