Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Gateshead's Delight as Hitman Novak Makes All the Huddlines

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Gateshead's Delight as Hitman Novak Makes All the Huddlines

Article excerpt

Byline: By JEFF BOWRON

GATESHEAD hot-shot Lee Novak joined Coca-Cola League One club Huddersfield Town ahead of the transfer deadline for a record fee for North East non-league football.

Blue Square North promotion chasers Gateshead had already turned down a pounds 90,000 bid from Scunthorpe United, who were keen to take Novak to Glanford Park.

While neither Huddersfield nor Gateshead would confirm the fee involved, it is believed the Tynesiders will eventually net pounds 150,000 if Novak makes the grade at the Galpharm Stadium.

The payment up front is pounds 50,000, and the other two instalments will bring in the same amount based on an agreed number of first-team appearances.

It is a tremendous deal for Gateshead, who paid a mere pounds 3,500 to Newcastle Blue Star plus a player exchange back in September - particularly as Huddersfield will allow Novak to see out the season at Gateshead.

Blue Star's surprise decision to offload a player of such potential has been a costly error, though the Kingston Park club will gain some consolation from having inserted a 10% sell-on clause.

Novak, meanwhile, acknowledges his move to Gateshead has proved to be a launching pad for what should be a long career in the professional game.

He said: "Joining Gateshead has turned out to be a dream move.

"While I never had I the chance to speak to 1 Scunthorpe because their bid was rejected, I am delighted to be joining Huddersfield Town.

"They have a Premier League set-up. I did not expect to be given a three-and-a-half year contract and, while it took three hours to get to Huddersfield in the snow, it took no time to agree terms.

"They are a big club with a proud tradition and I cannot wait to get cracking when pre-season begins in July - but before that I have a job to do at Gateshead. …

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