FORMER Palace striker Kevin Phillips has been appointed the new manager of Northern Premier League club South Shields.

It is the first managerial post for the 48-year-old, following coaching positions at Leicester, Derby and Stoke, and sees him succeed Graham Fenton in the role.

Caretaker manager Wess Brown will remain in charge for Tuesday evening’s trip to Ashton United, with Phillips watching from the stands before overseeing his first match on Saturday when Shields take on Warrington away from home.

“I am absolutely delighted to come on board, having been given the opportunity,” Phillips said.

“I’ve never been shy in saying I’d love a crack at management when the right opportunity arose, and (chairman) Geoff (Thompson) 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.

“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.

“There’s a lot of hard work to do but I’m really looking forward to being part of it and hopefully helping the club move forwards.”

Phillips only had a short spell at Palace but did net seven times in only 21 appearances for the side.

He also played for Watford, Southampton, Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham, Blackpool, Sunderland and Leicester, as well as winning eight England caps.

Shields 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.”