Northern League new boys Benfield Saints begin their new life with a game at Seaham Red Star tomorrow.

Saints, the first club to be promoted to the ANL from the Northern Alliance, have appointed former Whickham boss Keith Sheardown as their new manager, with former Bedlington and Dunston player Lee Boyle as his assistant.

And they've gone for several players with Northern League experience. Warren Fisher, Ross Greenhill and Scott Bell have all arrived from Newcastle Blue Star, along with the much travelled Alu Banguera from Esh Winning. They have also signed Graham Craggs, who was the top scorer in the Alliance last season with Shankhouse, and Dean Fuller from Tow Law.

Seaham, who just missed out on promotion last season, have brought in Washington pair Chris Feasey and Neil Hood, Murton striker Dean Hellens and defender John Webster from Horden, but Peter Fitzsimmons will be missing most of the season because of work.

Newcastle Blue Star, who were relegated last season, will be amongst the favourites after appointing Warren Teesdale as their new manager. He has brought his old Bedlington teammate, Dean Gibb, to the club as his assistant. Their biggest signing is striker Lee Ludlow, who was one of the top scorers in the First Division with Durham City two seasons ago, and helped them to the semi finals of the FA Vase. They have also signed midfielders Andy Elliott and Steve Boon.

Consett, returning to the Second Division for the first time since 1989, have brought in Ray Lish as their new manager, with Paul Bryson and Fred Cresswell assisting him. In turn, Lish has signed former Darlington midfielder Peter Kirkham from Hebburn, his son Steve from Jarrow Roofing, striker Michael Pitt from West Auckland and several other players.

Evenwood manager Ken Houlahan has been one of the busiest managers during the summer, signing midfielder Wayne Brown as his player-coach, defender Michael Heckley from Nissan, striker Andy Turner from West Auckland, Richie Hill and eight other players, including some local youngsters. The club still has a question mark over its future because of its floodlight issue.

Northallerton's new manager, Paul Burton, has brought in nine players from his old club, Teesside League outfit Nunthorpe Athletic, including one of the leading scorers in that league, Anthony Roberts. However, they have lost Craig Bishop and Stephen Boyles to Guisborough and Thornaby respectively.

Prudhoe, another relegated club, have a new manager in Gavin Liddle, and he has brought in Owen Peterson, Paul Robertson and Paul Conlon from his old club Washington Nissan, while several players have departed.

Former Middlesbrough player Graeme Hedley, who is now manager of Easington, has signed much travelled pair Alex DiGeorgis and Micky Pugh, as well as Lee Johnson. However, striker Tony Hanson has gone to Washington and First Division football

Norton, who just managed to escape relegation last season, have signed striker Chris Dunwell from Guisborough, new keeper Apollo Ouedraogo, and Darren Watkins, who was part of the Tow Law squad to reach the Vase final five years ago.

South Shields have signed midfielder Craig Stoker from nearby Jarrow Roofing, and as well as three players from Wearside League clubs, they have signed two players from Newcastle University, keeper Stephen Gould and Matthew Pickover. David Hague, their top scorer last season, has gone to the USA.

Kennek Ryhope CA, under new manager Les Gamble, have re-signed their former striker Jonny Wightman, who was transferred to Washington Nissan last season, and youngster Phil Bell from Newcastle Blue Star.

Murton, who also have a new manager in Brian Maitland, have signed 20 new players, including Martin Clough from Crook Town and Gareth Lincoln from Kennek Ryhope CA. Last season's leading scorer, Dean Hellens, has gone to Seaham Red Star.

Washington Nissan, who changed their manager twice during the close season after the departures of Gavin Liddle and then Gary Lormer, have signed Johnny Butler, brother of Sunderland's Thomas, and Jimmy Farrell from Ireland. Manager Wilf Constantine has raided his old club Eppleton for David Tait, Michael Dibie, John Linighan and Phil Graham, and has signed defender Paul Moss from Bishop Auckland.

However, Adam Johnston, who was top scorer in the Second Division last season, has gone to Jarrow Roofing, along with team mate Gavin Cogden.

Norton have signed a player from Birkino Fasso - a possible first for the Northern League.

Apollo Ouedraogo was part of the national under-17 team which reached the final of the African Nations Cup, and made his first appearance for Norton last Saturday against Billingham Synthonia in a friendly.

Manager Ray Morton, who has brought five new players to the club during the summer, said: "From what we've seen so far, he's a good keeper, but he's a bit undisciplined. I watched him a couple of times last season, and he looks as if he could play in the Northern League."

Kennek Ryhope CA have named one of their stands after Roy Baines, one of their committee men, who has been with the club for 30 years. Hebburn's new signing, Gary Bennett, recently brought an all star side to Welfare Park to officially open it.

Easington are looking for more committee members to help with fundraising and helping on match days at Welfare Park. Anyone interested should contact chairman Alan Barkas on 0795 0391750

Consett's new manager, Ray Lish, has paid tribute to his predecessor, Colin Carr.

Lish took over during the summer from Carr, who decided to stand down as boss after over a decade.

Lish said: "Colin has been a really big help to me. I spoke to him for a long time, and he gave me plenty advice about the players at the club. It was a very useful conversation."

One player Lish will have to reckon without, at least for the time being, is striker Colin McLeod, who is being troubled with a back injury.

First Division club Washington have signed striker Tony Hansen from Easington. Hansen was one of the leading scorers in the Second Division last season, However, they have lost defender John Curtis to UniBond League club Gateshead.

Penrith chairman Don Cameron, one of the driving forces behind their resurgence last season, has suddenly resigned.

Cameron was one of the men behind their Second Division title win last season, but has declined to give his reasons, saying that he would reveal them "in due course".

Willington are hoping for better fortune after their relegation fight last season, and manager Alan Shoulder has brought in several youngsters from the club's junior set up, plus keeper Andrew Spence from Spennymoor and outfield players Neil Bell and Kevin Shoulder.

First Division Chester-le-Street have signed striker Kraig Wilkinson from Dunston.

Wilkinson, a former YTS at Sheffield Wednesday, has also played for Billingham Synthonia and Tow Law in the league, as well as UniBond League club Bishop Auckland at the start of last season.

Shildon last night signed goalkeeper John Jackson, who was on Middlesbrough's books as a youngster, and he could make his debut in their opening fixture tomorrow against Dunston

Tomorrow's fixtures

Division One: Bedlington v Esh Winning, Billingham Synthonia v West Auckland, Brandon v Durham City, Guisborough v Horden, Jarrow Roofing v Morpeth, Marske v Billingham Town, Penrith v Chester-le-Street, Peterlee v Thornaby, Shildon v Dunston, Whitley Bay v Washington

Division Two: Alnwick v Consett, Crook v Willington, Hebburn v Easington, Murton v Whickham, Newcastle Blue Star v Norton, Northallerton v Evenwood, Seaham Red Star v Newcastle Benfield Saints, Shotton v Ashington, South Shields v Prudhoe, Washington Nissan v Kennek Ryhope CA

Midweek fixtures - Tuesday

Division One: Billingham Town v Whitley Bay, Chester-le-Street v Brandon, Dunston v Bedlington, Durham v Tow Law, Esh Winning v Penrith, Horden v Billingham Synthonia, Morpeth v Peterlee, Thornaby v Shildon, West Auckland v Jarrow Roofing


Division One: Washington v Guisborough

Division Two: Consett v Hebburn.