Sunderland fullback Michael Liddle says he's a better player for his spell at Gateshead.
Liddle made 23 league appearances and won the club's goal of the season award during a successful tenure.
"I went there to get some games and fitness under my belt, because I spent a lot of time before Christmas out injured," Liddle told safc.com.
"Everyone thinks the Conference is big and scrappy but I was surprised when I went there. Gateshead passed the ball really well and tried to play good football.
"It was just good to get a run of games because that's something I haven't had for a couple of years. I feel like I've come on a lot."