FORMER Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has been appointed as the new manager of Northern Premier League side South Shields.

Shields' former boss, Graham Fenton, left the club in the wake of Saturday's 2-0 win over Radcliffe Borough.

Phillips, a former England international who won the European Golden Boot during his time with Sunderland, is moving into his first managerial position.

As a player, he enjoyed a hugely successful career with clubs including Sunderland, Aston Villa and West Brom.  

He has since established himself as a respected coach, having held roles with Leicester City, Derby County and Stoke City.

Phillips will watch from the stands when the South Shields travel to Ashton United on Tuesday before taking training for the first time on Thursday.  

He will then oversee his first game as manager on Saturday as Shields travel to Warrington Town. 

Phillips said: "I’m absolutely delighted to come on board having been given the opportunity to manage South Shields.  

"This is my first taste of management so I’m eager to get going and I’m very, very excited.  

"I’d like to thank Geoff Thompson for giving me this opportunity. I’m very grateful for it and am looking forward to working with Geoff and everyone connected with the club.  

"The club is very ambitious and is an exciting place to be, which is demonstrated by the investment which has been made in the team and the facilities.  

"I’m really looking forward to being part of it and hopefully helping the club move forwards."  

Phillips’ playing career reached its height during his time with Sunderland between 1997 and 2003.  

He scored 130 goals in 235 appearances for the Black Cats as he became revered as a club legend.

 He added: "I’ve never been shy in saying I’d love a crack at management when the right opportunity arose, and Geoff completely sold this club to me.

"The club is in an area I know very well and have a great affection for, and coupled with that it has great ambition and a vision to grow. I’m licking my lips to be part of it.

"I want to win games and be successful, and I hope myself and the players will enjoy the ride together.

"It’s about winning football matches and trying to find a style that is exciting to watch, on the front foot and giving players the freedom to go and play.

"There’s a lot of hard work in front of us but it’s important to have an enjoyable environment in place so that the players come into work, enjoy what they do and get the most out of themselves."  

Club chairman Thompson said: "We are incredibly excited about the prospect of Kevin joining us and leading our first team.

"His pedigree, background and experience in the game are substantial and I’m sure he’s going to make a massive impact on the club.

"I’m sure everyone connected to the club will join me in welcoming Kevin with open arms, and I very much look forward to working with him over the coming years."