Darlington FC 15/16

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We now look ahead to a season in the Evo-Stik Premier following promotion from the Evo-Stik Division One North.

Management:

Manager: Martin Gray
Assistant Manager: Brian Atkinson
Coach: Sean Gregan
Goalkeeping Coach: Jim Provett
Club-Scout/Secretary: Harry Dunn

First-Team Squad:

Goalkeepers:
Peter Jameson, Mark Bell.

Defenders:
Gary Brown (C), Chris Hunter, Alan White, Paul Weldon, Terry Galbraith, Ian Watson.

Midfielders:
Adam Mitchell, Nelson Mota, Tom Portas, Leon Scott (VC), Stephen Thompson.

Forwards:
Graeme Armstrong, Nathan Cartman, Amar Purewal, David Dowson, Liam Hatch.

In regards to players coming in, Martin Gray is already meeting with transfer targets this week. The only news that we have heard so far is that Alan White has signed a new 1 year contract with the club. Other players contracted include Peter Jameson, Adam Mitchell, Stephen Thompson, Graeme Armstrong and Nathan Cartman.

In terms of players leaving, goalkeeper Mark Bell could be retiring this summer. Paul Weldon has agreed a deal with Minnesota United in the USA for next season, and also question marks both stand over Nelson Mota and Liam Hatch. I think what also is clear is that bigger clubs could potentially be interested in several of our better players; we have seen it happen previously with Joe Tait moving to Gateshead and Nathan Thomas moving to Plymouth.

Amar Purewal currently has an injured knee and is likely to return around the August/September 15' time. It has also emerged that Graeme Armstrong's pancreas has sliced in half following a collision with Brig's goalkeeper on Saturday. Here's hoping for a quick recovery although the damage doesn't sound too good.

Reserves/Youth-Team:

It has been announced that our new Reserve Team has been accepted into the Wearside League Development Division which will consist of 18 teams ranging across County Durham, Teesside and Tyne & Wear. Meanwhile our entire youth set-up continues to go from strength to strength as proven by numerous youth players breaking into the first-team sporadically last season.

Off The Pitch:

Blackwell Meadows:

Our move back to Darlington is well underway and development at Blackwell Meadows should start at the end of May 15'. The finances are already in place and planning permission has been granted. I think now it is just a case of when the work will be completed, although as a matter of precaution we have signed a deal with Bishop Auckland to play our home games at Heritage Park temporarily IF the infrastructure at Blackwell Meadows isn't ready for the start of the 2015/2016 season.

We're looking for Blackwell Meadows to have an initial capacity of 2,500 with potential to expand in the future.

Debt:

The club debt stood at £44k as of December 14', and 5 months down the line it will be an even lower figure. This is another hurdle that has held back the club over the previous 3 years along with playing 12 miles out of town but we're slowly getting over the line.

Overall the club is in a much healthier position and at the moment I believe we're only operating at a fraction of our potential due to several constraints. The much anticipated wait for our move back to Darlington is almost over and we know the move will introduce several new opportunities. Not only that but we will kick-off in August in a higher league with bigger and better clubs.

An interesting season ahead.
 

Harry412

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#2
So, where are you expecting Darlo to finish? I can see you and Salford both pushing for a second successive promotion, . And there's still the likes of Workington, Ashton and Blyth. The Evo Stik Prem 2015-16 looks very tough.
 
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So, where are you expecting Darlo to finish? I can see you and Salford both pushing for a second successive promotion, . And there's still the likes of Workington, Ashton and Blyth. The Evo Stik Prem 2015-16 looks very tough.
Salford will be challenging again, they'll have the pick of the North-West with coaching staff who are familiar with this level.

As for Darlington, ideally I'd like to see who we can bring in over the next few weeks or so before basing judgement. It's another step-up, a more difficult league, and perhaps we're not very familiar with some of the clubs that we're going to face. Either way it's going to be very interesting and some fixtures have the potential to be crackers.
 
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#5
Tough league Evo Stik Premier ! Darlington will do well though i think and at least be pushing for promotion.

Great to see Darlington on the rise and no doubt be great when club back home in new ground.
 

oakroader

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#7
We now look ahead to a season in the Evo-Stik Premier following promotion from the Evo-Stik Division One North.

Management:

Manager: Martin Gray
Assistant Manager: Brian Atkinson
Coach: Sean Gregan
Goalkeeping Coach: Jim Provett
Club-Scout/Secretary: Harry Dunn

First-Team Squad:

Goalkeepers:
Peter Jameson, Mark Bell.

Defenders:
Gary Brown (C), Chris Hunter, Alan White, Paul Weldon, Terry Galbraith, Ian Watson.

Midfielders:
Adam Mitchell, Nelson Mota, Tom Portas, Leon Scott (VC), Stephen Thompson.

Forwards:
Graeme Armstrong, Nathan Cartman, Amar Purewal, David Dowson, Liam Hatch.

In regards to players coming in, Martin Gray is already meeting with transfer targets this week. The only news that we have heard so far is that Alan White has signed a new 1 year contract with the club. Other players contracted include Peter Jameson, Adam Mitchell, Stephen Thompson, Graeme Armstrong and Nathan Cartman.

In terms of players leaving, goalkeeper Mark Bell could be retiring this summer. Paul Weldon has agreed a deal with Minnesota United in the USA for next season, and also question marks both stand over Nelson Mota and Liam Hatch. I think what also is clear is that bigger clubs could potentially be interested in several of our better players; we have seen it happen previously with Joe Tait moving to Gateshead and Nathan Thomas moving to Plymouth.

Amar Purewal currently has an injured knee and is likely to return around the August/September 15' time. It has also emerged that Graeme Armstrong's pancreas has sliced in half following a collision with Brig's goalkeeper on Saturday. Here's hoping for a quick recovery although the damage doesn't sound too good.

Reserves/Youth-Team:

It has been announced that our new Reserve Team has been accepted into the Wearside League Development Division which will consist of 18 teams ranging across County Durham, Teesside and Tyne & Wear. Meanwhile our entire youth set-up continues to go from strength to strength as proven by numerous youth players breaking into the first-team sporadically last season.

Off The Pitch:

Blackwell Meadows:

Our move back to Darlington is well underway and development at Blackwell Meadows should start at the end of May 15'. The finances are already in place and planning permission has been granted. I think now it is just a case of when the work will be completed, although as a matter of precaution we have signed a deal with Bishop Auckland to play our home games at Heritage Park temporarily IF the infrastructure at Blackwell Meadows isn't ready for the start of the 2015/2016 season.

We're looking for Blackwell Meadows to have an initial capacity of 2,500 with potential to expand in the future.

Debt:

The club debt stood at £44k as of December 14', and 5 months down the line it will be an even lower figure. This is another hurdle that has held back the club over the previous 3 years along with playing 12 miles out of town but we're slowly getting over the line.

Overall the club is in a much healthier position and at the moment I believe we're only operating at a fraction of our potential due to several constraints. The much anticipated wait for our move back to Darlington is almost over and we know the move will introduce several new opportunities. Not only that but we will kick-off in August in a higher league with bigger and better clubs.

An interesting season ahead.
congrats to your team and its loyal fans,but excuse my ignorance-how many leagues to go before the conference north,then premier,then league football (please god)
 

Railway Blue

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#8
Promotion next season would take Darlington into Conference North (Step 2), then Conference Premier (Step 1).
Darlinton, if they do well next season, are likely to fill that ground and it will need further work to expand capacity.
 

genesimmons

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#9
Apologies if this question has been mentioned on here but will blackwell meadows have the ability to be brought up to confrence premier or even football league standard in the future?
 
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Thread starter #11
As above, we have completed the signing of 28 year old winger Rob Youhill from Harrogate RA.

Youhill is a very good player and had a very good understanding with Cartman when they were both at Harrogate RA. Here's hoping for the same at Darlo!

Players currently contracted are;

Goalkeepers: Peter Jameson

Defenders: Gary Brown, Alan White.

Midfielders: Adam Mitchell, Rob Youhill, Tom Portas, Stephen Thompson.

Forwards: Graeme Armstrong, Nathan Cartman, Liam Hatch and David Dowson.

More news will no doubt be released in the next week or so. Gray will be looking to bring in at least another 2 or 3 more players along with offering new deals to several current players.
 

Mark kavanagh

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#12
I used to love my spring trips to feethams, always dreamed of nipping out at half time and scoring a quickfire 50 in 10 mins and coming back for the second half.

The quicker darlo get back up the ladder the happier i will be. A great northern club
 

JE93

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#15
Absolutely delighted with how far we've come in 3 short years. Martin Gray really deserves credit for going from 2 players on the books to a 1st, 2nd and a 2nd place with 2 promotions along the way, and its no surprise he's be approached for football league jobs. Off the pitch as well the volunteer board deserve massive credit, over 200k work of debt paid off in 3 years and the plans in place to move us back into the town. Great season last year, and the way in which we went up with the Spennymoor playoff semi final was a great advert to get a higher level of support when we move back to town.

Going forwards I'm really looking forward to next season. I think it will be a tougher league we are going into with some established teams at the top and as FC United saw it's not an easy league to get out of. That said I think we'll finish in the playoffs with a couple of good additions, if we can add that to a run in one of the cup competitions we'll be looking at a successful season.

The real news though is the move home, I don't think we'll be ready to move in for the start of the season but certainly by October we'll be playing back in town. Blackwell Meadows will be small to begin with and it will never be a big ground but there should be enough room to develop a decent little ground for us that fits our needs. Only 2,500 capacity to begin with and i think we'll be close to filling it for the first couple of games. After that i think we'll average around 1,750 which would be a solid basis. Added to the higher attendances, increased advertising and the fact we wont be paying debt payments and rent to Bishop Aukland. This extra revenue can be utilized into a fund and the club can immediately start to save and plan for further improvements to be made to our new ground to keep it in line with our ambitions.

Really have enjoyed the way the club has bounced back after the 3 admins in a row. The fans are control and I would hope that within 5 years we can be back in the Conference Prem with some of our old league pals.

P.s Good luck to the likes of Rushden, Hereford who are starting off on the road back to where we were. Halifax and Chester have shown the way hope to meet you all back in the league some day soon
 
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Thread starter #16
In recent transfer news, winger Nelson Mota has been released, Mark Bell looks set to leave for a Northern League club and Paul Weldon has also definitely left the club.

Our current squad is below, all players are contracted;

Goalkeepers;

Peter Jameson, Mark Bell.

Defenders;

Gary Brown, Chris Hunter, Alan White, Terry Galbraith, Ian Watson.

Midfielders;

Adam Mitchell, Leon Scott, Tom Portas, Stephen Thompson, Rob Youhill.

Forwards;

Graeme Armstrong, Nathan Cartman, Amar Purewal, David Dowson, Liam Hatch.

Gray explained at a recent fans forum in Northallerton that he is looking to bring in another 2 or 3 players. I'd hazard a guess and say that those will be a goalkeeper, a centre-midfielder and possible a right-back.

Armstong has recently had an operation on his pancreas and he should feature in pre-season. Currently we do not know when Purewal will be back fit from his knee injury although we look strong up front, particularly with Hatch recently signing a new contract.

Hopefully we should hear a few things in the next week in regards to movement.
 

AndyPark

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#17
Purewal is expected back in October, so hopefully we should see him back in the first team by late October/November time. Don't want to rush him back.

With Mark Bell leaving, I've heard rumours of Sam Russell returning from more than 1 person.
 
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Thread starter #18
We have tonight completed the signing of 27 year-old centre midfielder Adam Nowakowski from Harrogate Town.

Sounds like exactly what we need, a tall, strong central midfielder to go along with Portas and Scott. Nowakowski recieved Supporters Player of The Year for Harrogate Town in the 2013-2014 season and he has also played over 175 games at Conference North standard.
 
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Thread starter #19
Mark Bell has tonight signed for Bishop Auckland. A good move for both parties.

The squad is slowly beginning to take shape for next season. Gray will no doubt be looking at one or two others and it'll be interesting to see who we'll have on trial this pre-season.
 

DarkSithLord

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#21
Going to add this here.

Evo Stik Premier side Ilkeston FC have announced Gavin Strachan (Son of Gordon) as their new head coach.

Could be a real coup at that level
 

DarkSithLord

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#25
Because he has high level coaching badges experience of the coaching set up of a FL side when he was at Peterboro. He will great contacts too with the influence of his father. Not many coaches in the Evo Stik would have had experience of working at a League One Club. He ticks all the right boxes for me to be a success.
 
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#26
We have today signed 27 year old centre half Kevin Burgess from Whitby Town on a two year contract.

Burgess started off his career with us, playing once, and has since spent the previous 8 seasons at Whitby making 272 appearances and scoring 12 goals.

Goalkeepers: Peter Jameson

Defenders: Gary Brown, Kevin Burgess, Alan White, Chris Hunter, Terry Galbraith, Ian Watson

Midfielders: Rob Youhill, Adam Mitchell, Tom Portas, Adam Nowakowski, Leon Scott, Stephen Thompson

Forwards: Graeme Armstrong, Amar Purewal, Nathan Cartman, David Dowson, Liam Hatch

Very impressed with the transfer business Gray has done so far, he has brought in 3 players (Burgess, Youhill and Nowakowski) that all have significant experience at Northern Premier League level or higher.

Graeme Armstrong should hopefully be back around mid-July and Amar Purewal will be around September/October.

I'm struggling to see where we can strengthen further at the moment, as this is possibly the strongest squad we've had going into pre-season (last pre-season there were question marks over 3/4 players). Another goalkeeper is a must, and Gray has mentioned possibly bringing in a goalkeeper better than Jameson. There are also rumours of us sniffing around a few Gateshead players, so we will see shortly what comes of that.
 

genesimmons

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#27
Rumours phil turnbull leaveing gateshead due to been offered full time job so darlington could be option if hes playing part time. Full Gateahead release list been drawn up soon so i guess darlington will be keeping tabs on that. Looks like darlingtons been busy gatesheads signed no one and seems darlington have local players sewn up. Maybe we will look outside of area
 

JE93

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#28
Have a feeling that if Turnbull leaves Gateshead he'll join his brother at Blyth. I'd certainly be interested though he'd be brilliant at this level. Any other rumors on who might be getting let go from you who could possibly interest us?

In regards to the lads we've signed, I'd doubt they would be the kind of players you'd after, the lads we've picked have mainly been around Evo-Stik prem and Conf North level.. I'd expect your new signings to come from a mixture of experienced lower league players with one or two academy releases from the likes of Newcastle and Sunderland.
 
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#29
Wish darlo all the best. Little bit of a soft spot for you guys. When I travelled up with my grandad to watch darlo v Grimsby the game was cancelled, we didn't realise until we got to the ground. Somehow someone from the club ended up giving us a stadium tour, took us onto the pitch, into the changing rooms (ate the players sandwiches!) and then was offered a box for free for the rearranged match! Absolutely brilliant hospitality. Not to mention some good games against your fans team back in the day aswell.
Anyway, best of luck to you guys. Hope you go up again
 

genesimmons

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#30
Phil turnbull staying. Jamie chandler yet to resign althougth hes on holiday at minute. Hope he stays. Frings player carl fimnegan released. Possible for darlington. As goes for new signings jist un-named striker on horizon belie graham wood is going down to.midilands about it. We need a good steiker or two for sure
 

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