Staunton signs up Madden

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor

SIMON Madden yesterday became Darlington’s third January signing and Steve Staunton hopes to complete deals for two more players today.

The right-back has arrived from Shamrock Rovers and is likely to make his debut at home to Aldershot tomorrow.

Quakers are confident the game will go ahead which would allow Madden and last week’s signings, Tadgh Purcell and Gary Dempsey, to make their debuts.

Staunton has known Madden since his time as assistant manager at Leeds where the 21-year-old came through the youth ranks but was released after one appearance.

“Simon is a good player, an out and out right-back, knows his job, looks to play and can defend,” said Staunton. “The last year or so he’s been in Ireland and been part of a very successful Shamrock Rovers team.”

Staunton was expecting the defender to be one of three signings yesterday.

He instead hopes to complete those two deals today but after missing out on Clark Keltie, having previously announced his ‘signing’, the manager is reluctant to identify his targets.

They are understood to be a striker and a utility player able to play in both centreback and midfield positions.

Staunton has two other players in the pipeline, one of which is a goalkeeper he hopes to bring in next week.

Keltie trained with Darlington for much of last month but has accepted Lincoln’s six-month contract offer, despite having previously told Staunton that he would return to the Arena.

Staunton said: “It’s his decision, I’m not worried about it. I’ve got a job in progress here and have signed a number of players. You have no control over players who sometimes use clubs as a bargaining tool. Good luck to him, all the best, but I won’t be using any sleep over it.”

Luton’s Alan White is another ex-Darlington player that Quakers are tracking.

Staunton describes the situation as “ongoing” while the manager has told some fringe players to find new clubs.

Meanwhile, the Irishman has spoken of his frustration at the scheduling of rearranged games during the final 16 weeks of the season.

The Football League insist they are rearranged as soon as possible, which is why Quakers are to play on six of the next eight Tuesdays when the bulk of their midweeks during the last eight weeks are available. “There’s nothing we can do,” explained a perplexed Staunton. “They wanted us to get games out of the way as soon as possible. I was looking to even the games out over the rest of the season but the league wouldn’t allow it.’’

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