NEIL ASPIN is delighted to have “returned home” following his appointment as Gateshead’s new manager.

Aspin was born and raised in Gateshead before embarking on a playing career that saw him represent Darlington and Hartlepool United as well as Leeds United and Port Vale.

His management career has encompassed Harrogate Town and Halifax Town, but while he was sacked by the latter earlier this season, he has been offered the opportunity succeed Malcolm Crosby with Gateshead currently 12th in the National League table.

“This means a great deal,” said Aspin, who will lead his side into action for the first time when the Heed host Chester City tomorrow. “I was born in Gateshead and went to school here. I left the North-East to pursue my football career, but it’s lovely to come back.

“Once you’ve been born in this town, it’s always your home. It’s fantastic to come back, and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Coming in during the season, it’s only right that I assess who the players are and make my own judgement on them. I’ve got a very open mind – there are players I know, and some I don’t. I have my own ideas, but they can change over the weeks.”