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Gray set to name new boys
Darlington have made a brisk start in their quest to rebuild their squad and are hoping to reveal the names of more signings this week, writes Craig Stoddart.
Ten players have joined within the past seven days and manager Martin Gray says that he, chief scout Harry Dunn and assistant manager Brian Atkinson are working hard to secure more additions.
Gray even had to interrupt his visit to the Stadium of Light for the Coldplay concert last Thursday to continue negotiations.
"We've been speaking to a lot of players. Brian, Harry and myself have been working overtime and we've got a few more deals lined up," said the manager, who agreed a deal with a new right-back at the weekend.
"We're working around the clock meeting players and speaking to people on the phone, it's been non-stop and it's had to be that way. Even at the concert the other night I was in and out of the hospitality box to speak to people on the phone.
"We must have met with 20 to 25 players at various hotels in the North-East over the past couple of weeks.
"I prefer to meet them in person, I want to look in their eye, instead of doing it on the phone, to judge their character.
"This is going to be a busy time until we formulate a team.
"It's hard to attract players because they all want to play at the highest level possible. There are some big payers out there."
Although Gray would like to complete the bulk of his signings before pre-season starts on July 7, he said there could be more additions once the campaign gets under way on August 18.
"I will be calling a few favours in once the season starts," he said. "All clubs like to wait to see what they've got available to send out on loan."
Former Darlington youth player Dan Groves was announced as one of six new signings at Spennymoor Town yesterday.
The 21-year-old, released by Quakers in 2010, has been with Blyth Spartans, where he was named players' player of the year last season.
He will be joined at Moors by two fellow former Blyth players, midfielder Neal Hooks and striker Glen Taylor. Also moving to the Brewery Field are ex-Sunderland RCA players Joe Walton and Mark Davison, plus former Gateshead man Wayne Phillips.
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