SUPPORTERS of Darlington FC have urged fans to ‘forget turbulent experiences’ and get behind the team ahead of high profile friendly matches.

The Darlington FC Supporters Group (DFCSG) have issued a statement welcoming the return of the club to The Northern Echo Arena.

Later this month, The Quakers will take on Sunderland and Newcastle United in friendly matches that mark the return of the club to Darlington.

The team has played their ‘home’ games at Heritage Park in Bishop Auckland for the last four years and are expected to make their return to Darlington in the coming season.

DFCSG’s statement called the matches a monumental occasion and urged supporters to forget any bad memories associated with the arena, where the club played prior to a period of financial turbulence.

It said: “We are delighted that the arena has been made available to allow us to play back in our town for the first time in four years.

“Whilst the period of tenure at the arena harbours bad memories for some supporters it should not be forgotten that the venue itself was not directly responsible for the demise of the football club.

“The DFCSG appeals to all Darlington fans, whether current or lapsed to forget the turbulent experiences that coincided with our time at the arena and come along to support the town’s football club.”

Highlighting pre-season games as a key revenue generator, it said: “It would also mean a great deal to the dedicated players who pull on the Darlington shirt with pride to see a huge turnout of the public for the first games back in the town.”

The Quakers will play Newcastle United XI on Saturday, July 16 and a Sunderland XI on Tuesday, July 19.

For tickets, contact the arena or buy from Quaker Retail in the Dolphin Centre.