PAUL ARNISON and Mark Bower will become new members of the Colin Todd revolution at Darlington after impressing during their short trials with the club.
Both Arnison and Bower, full-backs on either flank, were the pick of the Quakers’ bunch in last night’s goalless draw with Scottish Premier League side Hamilton.
The agreements that are in place for the two experienced defenders, who were last season with Bradford City, has followed Todd’s decision to allow Ben Starosta and Craig James to depart.
They struggled during their time at The Northern Echo Darlington Arena and, despite being paraded as two of the club’s new recruits earlier this month, Todd has allowed them to move on.
“I have made decisions on Ben and Craig,” said Todd, who will also not sign trialist striker Nick Chadwick after he played last night.
“But Bower and Arnison will be signed on which strengthens us, we have seen that. Bower and Arnison did extremely well.”
With deals in place, Todd, aware scouts were present last night, needs to finalise players’ contracts soon.
The club’s administrators had suggested yesterday that Darlington could start the season in administration, meaning they would find it difficult to get players to put pen to paper.
Todd was frustrated with such claims. He said: “We can’t be in admin by the time the season starts. We can’t alarm people and put things in people’s minds that are not right.
“We are all confident, but there has always been people negative. It’s the wrong thing to say. I’m just being honest.”
He added: “I have said to them that we are vulnerable with scouts because the players are not signed on yet. But we could have something going here. We have agreed things with them all.”
Chadwick and Bower, released by Hereford and Bradford respectively, had contrasting matches.
Bower showed why Todd has swooped and while Chadwick’s touch was disappointing, there was also an encouraging display from Arnison.
He vindicated Todd’s decision to include him at rightback at the expense of Starosta.
After the restart Hamilton stepped it up a little and created a few more chances, with Knight thwarting the best of them when striker Rodrigo Ribeiro got through.
Just before the substitutes started to roll, Jeff Smith struck a sweet low free kick that forced Cerny into a diving save just on the hour.
Darlington (4-4-2): Knight; Arnison, Plummer, Miller, Bower; Convery, Lumsdon, G Smith (Bennett 78), J Smith (Riley 79); Chadwick (Windass 83), Thorpe. Subs (not used): Liversedge, Williams, Lamplough, Groves.