Wright still in the Darlington picture, but Aberdeen beckons

DARLINGTON have handed trials to several players during pre-season but at their team photocall yesterday there were no new faces other than the five players already signed earlier this summer.

There was the surprise sight of the outgoing Tommy Wright who took his place among the line-up, despite being on the verge of a move to Aberdeen.

Quakers manager Dave Penney fully expects Wright to complete the move, but made sure the 23-year-old attended the photocall as he remains a Darlington player until Aberdeen seal the deal.

Unlike most of the firstteam players, Wright’s shirt did not feature a name or squad number.

The striker’s protracted move stalled over a knee injury sustained in the first leg of the play-offs at the Darlington Arena at the end of last season.

The Scottish club return this weekend from a pre-season trip to Holland, after which Wright will travel north to complete his medical, part of which he passed last month after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £100,000.

“A fee has been agreed and he’s agreed personal terms with Aberdeen, it’s just a matter now of him getting fit,” said Penney.

“He’s a little bit behind in terms of his fitness because of the injury.

“He’s been up to Aberdeen to have part of the medical but we always knew his knee wouldn’t pass a medical and Aberdeen were aware of the situation. Once his knee is fit he will have the rest of his medical and he’ll be away.

“His situation is the same as David Stockdale’s. We got a good fee for Stocky and now he’s going to the Premier League (with Fulham).

“It’s a great chance for him to push his career on and it’s the scenario with Tommy.”

Also in the Darlington team photo this year are former youth team players Simon Todd and Lewis Hardman, while Shaun Reay has returned to the Arena.

The young striker was released at the end of last season but has been given a second chance by Penney who intends to send Reay out on a season-long loan to gain experience.

Penney has not ruled out further signings and trialists Paul Evans, Paul Robinson and Jason Bradley could all feature against St Mirren tomorrow.

Kick-off at the Arena is 3pm, admission is £10 and £5 concessions.

However, Penney has admitted defeat in his attempt to sign Luke Guttridge.

He played for Darlington in a friendly at Norton two weeks ago and last week Penney offered him a contract, but the midfielder is now in talks with League One Northampton Town.

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