DARLINGTON have completed the long-awaited signing of Liam Marrs – two years after Martin Gray first made an attempt to bring him to the club.

The right-back signed a two-year deal with Darlington after requesting to join from fellow National League North club Boston United.

In 2014 Marrs played in a friendly for Quakers against Bishop Auckland, as well as one for Spennymoor Town against Newcastle United, but the former Sunderland youngster eventually opted to play two divisions higher with Boston.

Back-to-back promotions since then, however, have seen Quakers reach Boston’s level and now the 23-year-old has become one of five new arrivals with goalkeeper Mark Bell returning to the club yesterday from Spennmoor.

Gray said: “He came to me which was great. He rang me and said he wanted to play for us.

“He’s shown a great commitment to Boston, travelling down there from Cramlington on a Thursday for training and for matches.

“He’s been the manager’s player of the year for the last two seasons down there, so he’s coming to us with a good background.

“He came through the Sunderland academy and I did try to sign him two years ago but he wanted to play at a higher level, which was fair enough.

“I’ve tried to go for him a few times since, but the timing is good now. We’re now at a level that he has been playing at and he comes to as an experienced player now.”

Marrs and Bell’s arrivals follows that of Jordan Watson, Lewis Nightingale and Arran Wearmouth, while the only exits so far are Graeme Armstrong and goalkeeper Jim Provett, who did not play in the league for Quakers.

Bell replaces Provett as Quakers’ goalkeeping coach and will be back up to Peter Jameson. Provett’s kitman duties will taken on by Bradley Blythe and Gary Smith.

Gray is looking to add one more player to the squad, understood to be a striker.