Darlington make six new signings

Darlington have taken their latest step towards rebuilding by making six signings, which include two former Quakers returning to the club.

Martin Gray and a four-strong backroom staff were appointed last weekend, and the manager has wasted little time in beginning his recruitment drive.

Strikers Danny Mellanby and Shaun Reay have previously been with the club and they are among Gray's first arrivals, who include a mixture of proven Northern League players and younger stock.

Also having accepted Gray's offer are Jamie Clarke, Dan Smith, Darren Richardson and Adam Nicholls.

Mellanby, 32, joins from hometown club Newton Aycliffe, where he has been integral in their rise through the leagues to the top flight of the Ebac Northern League. He was with Darlington from 2001-04.

Reay was a youth team player with Quakers during Gray's time as youth team coach and since being released in 2008 has played for Blyth Spartans and Boldon CA.

Smith is a former Sunderland and Aberdeen centre-back, while Clarke, a veteran striker, has played for various North-East non-league clubs, most recently Whitby Town in the Evo-Stik League last season.

Midfielder Danny Richardson joins from Bishop Auckland, while Adam Nicholls arrives after leaving West Auckland, for whom he played in the FA Vase final at Wembley last month.

"I'm delighted to get my first group of signings on board and we're working hard on bringing in the next group of signings in the near future," said Gray.

Among Gray's coaching set-up is former Darlington defender Sean Gregan, who is hoping to make a comeback having missed most of last season through injury.

Gregan sustained an Achilles injury at the beginning of the campaign, but Gray hopes the Billingham-born 38-year-old will be available for action.

"We're going to see how he goes," said Gray. "He had a nasty Achilles injury, he ruptured it playing for Kendal Town, I think it was, over a year ago.

"I'm going to involve him in the pre-season programme and see how he does.

"The intention is to get him out there for certain times. I can't guarantee it, we'll see how pre-season goes."

Meanwhile, two of Darlington's former youth team products have secured clubs for next season.

Left-back David Ferguson has signed a one-year deal with Sunderland, while forward Jamie Barton is moving to Gateshead.

The Heed are interested in a number of teenagers that were in the second year of their apprenticeship with Darlington, goalkeeper Jordan Nixon among them.

Darlington's first game in the Northern League, should this week's appeal against demotion to Step 5 fail, will be a groundsharing derby against Bishop Auckland, as the away team, on August 18. Their first home game is against Marske three days later.

Having received a first round bye in the Brookes Mileson League Cup, Quakers will be at home to Spennymoor in the second round.

Comments (16)

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9:54am Mon 4 Jun 12

laughingboy51 says...

a positive start!
a positive start! laughingboy51

10:19am Mon 4 Jun 12

the greek says...

Wow
Wow the greek

12:19pm Mon 4 Jun 12

zzzzzzz says...

What no scathing comment from doonhammer or monteforte/morgan1 (for they are one and the same).
Oh silly me this is a story about football, something they have no interest in.
What no scathing comment from doonhammer or monteforte/morgan1 (for they are one and the same). Oh silly me this is a story about football, something they have no interest in. zzzzzzz

12:52pm Mon 4 Jun 12

darlo_jambo says...

But surely door hammer / Montfort / morgan1 are all busy forming a breakaway board to show us how to run Darlo FC properly...
But surely door hammer / Montfort / morgan1 are all busy forming a breakaway board to show us how to run Darlo FC properly... darlo_jambo

12:54pm Mon 4 Jun 12

morgan1 says...

zzzzzzz

Actually you are quite wrong and what a silly remark.

Over the Jubilee weekend there is a hell of a lot more interesting things to do than worry about Darlington Football team.

The easiest part of the re-structuring is to get players whether they will be good enough to win the Northern league at the first attempt who knows, we will only get a feel for that when we actually have a squad capable of putting out a starting eleven and on how the first games go.
zzzzzzz Actually you are quite wrong and what a silly remark. Over the Jubilee weekend there is a hell of a lot more interesting things to do than worry about Darlington Football team. The easiest part of the re-structuring is to get players whether they will be good enough to win the Northern league at the first attempt who knows, we will only get a feel for that when we actually have a squad capable of putting out a starting eleven and on how the first games go. morgan1

1:07pm Mon 4 Jun 12

morgan1 says...

darlo_jambo
Thanks for your comment, the truth is quite simple however, no matter how people feel or how some would like to see things done differently, we are where we are. I have personally now substantially invested away from from the 1883ltd club.
The way I see it they have to prove it will work and that can only be done in at least a 3 year period.
Most companies grind to a halt at this point, so they will either have enough goodwill and money and performance to continue on or it will be at this point that things will change to allow larger investors in with a more money focused way forward.
The board between them must have enough money to get to the point of a squad without the fans although I doubt its one member one vote, no matter what they say to the rest of us, unsure on the CIC as to where it has actually got do, as it does not appear to being updated, and I still cant find the company registration.
Got to push on lots of things to do today/tomorrow.
darlo_jambo Thanks for your comment, the truth is quite simple however, no matter how people feel or how some would like to see things done differently, we are where we are. I have personally now substantially invested away from from the 1883ltd club. The way I see it they have to prove it will work and that can only be done in at least a 3 year period. Most companies grind to a halt at this point, so they will either have enough goodwill and money and performance to continue on or it will be at this point that things will change to allow larger investors in with a more money focused way forward. The board between them must have enough money to get to the point of a squad without the fans although I doubt its one member one vote, no matter what they say to the rest of us, unsure on the CIC as to where it has actually got do, as it does not appear to being updated, and I still cant find the company registration. Got to push on lots of things to do today/tomorrow. morgan1

1:14pm Mon 4 Jun 12

darlo_jambo says...

In DFC1883 we trust because they are us - i.e. fans. We are no longer reliant on single owners who seem to say one thing but do the opposite....I wonder where the football share actually is....
In DFC1883 we trust because they are us - i.e. fans. We are no longer reliant on single owners who seem to say one thing but do the opposite....I wonder where the football share actually is.... darlo_jambo

1:46pm Mon 4 Jun 12

monteforte says...

Morgan1 said
The easiest part of the re-structuring is to get players whether they will be good enough to win the Northern league at the first attempt who knows, we will only get a feel for that when we actually have a squad capable of putting out a starting eleven and on how the first games go.

I agree ..

darlo-jambo ; thanks for light hearted comments still laughing,glad you still have sense of humour.
After what we fans have been through recently with Darlo FC we supporters need make sure it's now being run correctly ....
Morgan1 said The easiest part of the re-structuring is to get players whether they will be good enough to win the Northern league at the first attempt who knows, we will only get a feel for that when we actually have a squad capable of putting out a starting eleven and on how the first games go. I agree .. darlo-jambo ; thanks for light hearted comments still laughing,glad you still have sense of humour. After what we fans have been through recently with Darlo FC we supporters need make sure it's now being run correctly .... monteforte

2:29pm Mon 4 Jun 12

MSG says...

I was pondering what to do with my crowdcube money. on the basis of these signings, i think i will reinvest in the new club.
Its going to be an enjoyable season by the look of it. things are now on the up after weeks of bad and gloomy news.

Who are Celtic Nation and which pit village do they come from ????

Are Darlo in the Durham Cup or did we get kicked out of this tournament when we changed from old to new club?

Looking forward to the new season.

COME ON DARLO !!!
I was pondering what to do with my crowdcube money. on the basis of these signings, i think i will reinvest in the new club. Its going to be an enjoyable season by the look of it. things are now on the up after weeks of bad and gloomy news. Who are Celtic Nation and which pit village do they come from ???? Are Darlo in the Durham Cup or did we get kicked out of this tournament when we changed from old to new club? Looking forward to the new season. COME ON DARLO !!! MSG

4:48pm Mon 4 Jun 12

quakersam says...

Celtic Nation were Gillford Park last season, they've changed their name, their based over in Carlisle.
Yeah we get to play in the Durham Cup and the Northern League Cup. If we win the appeal we might not only be in a new league but be allowed in the FA Cup (hopefully).

Looking forward to it too, can guarantee a big crowd on the opening day. Bishop v Darlo, 1500 at least
Celtic Nation were Gillford Park last season, they've changed their name, their based over in Carlisle. Yeah we get to play in the Durham Cup and the Northern League Cup. If we win the appeal we might not only be in a new league but be allowed in the FA Cup (hopefully). Looking forward to it too, can guarantee a big crowd on the opening day. Bishop v Darlo, 1500 at least quakersam

5:43pm Mon 4 Jun 12

asupporter says...

Morgan 1

So it's easy to get players is it? What a strange world you live in. Football clubs are all about players and supporters and it seems to me 1883 have go their priorities right. It will be an exciting season in the Northern League with big crowds, competitive matches, and with Martin Gray in charge we have a great chance of promotion. Come on Darlo!
Morgan 1 So it's easy to get players is it? What a strange world you live in. Football clubs are all about players and supporters and it seems to me 1883 have go their priorities right. It will be an exciting season in the Northern League with big crowds, competitive matches, and with Martin Gray in charge we have a great chance of promotion. Come on Darlo! asupporter

6:48pm Mon 4 Jun 12

doonhamer says...

zzzzzzz wrote:
What no scathing comment from doonhammer or monteforte/morgan1 (for they are one and the same).
Oh silly me this is a story about football, something they have no interest in.
Again, someone who is way off the mark, and as usual another illiterate who can't spell my name properly.
[quote][p][bold]zzzzzzz[/bold] wrote: What no scathing comment from doonhammer or monteforte/morgan1 (for they are one and the same). Oh silly me this is a story about football, something they have no interest in.[/p][/quote]Again, someone who is way off the mark, and as usual another illiterate who can't spell my name properly. doonhamer

7:14pm Mon 4 Jun 12

morgan1 says...

asupporter,
Yes it is, many players want the chance to get into mainstream league football which is where Darlington hope to get back to, the issue is whether those that want to, are of an acceptable quality.
Whether you can get what is needed in the first instance is unlikely so you will have to settle with what you can get to put out a starting eleven and basically go from there.
I think M.Gray could do Ok but comes down to whether he can build a side strong enough with the resources available to him, I am unsure whether this is the case, but it will certainly give him a challenge. Expectations are too high right now and patience will be needed if success is to come, guess it comes down to how much money the fans can put in the kitty within the current set-up and whether it will be enough. (My own view is probably not but your bed is made and now you must lie in it)
asupporter, Yes it is, many players want the chance to get into mainstream league football which is where Darlington hope to get back to, the issue is whether those that want to, are of an acceptable quality. Whether you can get what is needed in the first instance is unlikely so you will have to settle with what you can get to put out a starting eleven and basically go from there. I think M.Gray could do Ok but comes down to whether he can build a side strong enough with the resources available to him, I am unsure whether this is the case, but it will certainly give him a challenge. Expectations are too high right now and patience will be needed if success is to come, guess it comes down to how much money the fans can put in the kitty within the current set-up and whether it will be enough. (My own view is probably not but your bed is made and now you must lie in it) morgan1

7:17pm Mon 4 Jun 12

morgan1 says...

opps,
sorry for the 'lie' rather than 'Lay' was not intentional.
opps, sorry for the 'lie' rather than 'Lay' was not intentional. morgan1

11:58pm Tue 5 Jun 12

bishops_man says...

This season is going to be very interesting for me as I have been supporting both Bishop Auckland and Darlington over the last 10 years. I live just over a mile from Heritage Park and intend going to both Bishop's and Darlington's home matches, not sure what colours to wear first game though !!! There should be some cracking games this season and I think the standard of the Northern League will be much higher then previous years with some very good teams fighting it out ( Bishops, Darlington, Spennymoor, West Auckland, Team Nothumbria, Whitley Bay and Durham). I've spoken to many Bishop's fans and they are thrilled Darlington are playing at Heritage Park and will be supporting them. Darlington will win a number of new fans this season, be assured. Best of luck to both clubs.
This season is going to be very interesting for me as I have been supporting both Bishop Auckland and Darlington over the last 10 years. I live just over a mile from Heritage Park and intend going to both Bishop's and Darlington's home matches, not sure what colours to wear first game though !!! There should be some cracking games this season and I think the standard of the Northern League will be much higher then previous years with some very good teams fighting it out ( Bishops, Darlington, Spennymoor, West Auckland, Team Nothumbria, Whitley Bay and Durham). I've spoken to many Bishop's fans and they are thrilled Darlington are playing at Heritage Park and will be supporting them. Darlington will win a number of new fans this season, be assured. Best of luck to both clubs. bishops_man

10:02pm Wed 6 Jun 12

extratime says...

Unfortunately I cant see any of those names inspiring long suffering fans and boosting season ticket sales
Unfortunately I cant see any of those names inspiring long suffering fans and boosting season ticket sales extratime

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