TOMMY WRIGHT last night performed a remarkable u-turn by agreeing to become Darlington manager – three days after turning down the opportunity.

He yesterday resigned as boss of Nuneaton Town to take the reins at Blackwell Meadows, where he will be assisted by fellow former Quaker Alan White.

The pair were in the same Darlington team a decade ago and they have now reunited, ending Quakers’ search to replace Martin Gray, who resigned on October 1 to join York City.

Since then senior players Phil Turnbull and Gary Brown have been in temporary control and they will again pick the team for today’s home game against Bradford Park Avenue.

Wright and White, who has left a position as fitness coach at Spennymoor Town to rejoin his hometown team, will meet the Quakers squad before today’s game and then watch from the stands, leaving Turnbull and Brown in charge for the final time.

“This was a great opportunity for me to come and manage a massive club that should still be in the Football League and one that I love so much,” said Wright, who had two spells as a player with Darlington, in 2007-08 and 2010-11.

“The directors talked to me about their vision for the club, and Alan and I really want to help realise that. We believe we can deliver what they want, and that is success.

“The fanbase is massive, with regular crowds of between 1,800 and 3,000, and potentially more.

“I always had a very good relationship with the fans in my two playing spells, and that was a key factor in my decision to take the job. I was quite upset when I left after my first spell for Aberdeen.

“I didn’t want to go, but the club needed the money at the time, otherwise it would have gone bust. The second spell, of course, was highlighted by the celebrations of that great FA Trophy win at Wembley.”

Wright is 33 but is now into his third managerial job, having started at Corby Town in September 2013, leading them to the Southern Premier League title in 2014-15.

Corby suffered relegation a year later, Wright then joining Nuneaton last season, initially as a coach before becoming boss mid-term with the Warwickshire club fighting against the drop.

Wright helped steer Nuneaton, who operate as a full-time club with a youthful squad, to safety with an upturn in form, including a 2-1 win at Blackwell Meadows in January.

His team defeated Darlington again last Saturday, again with a 2-1 scoreline, in what has proven to be his final game in charge before resigning and returning to the North-East, where he thoroughly enjoyed his previous spells.

“I felt very emotional last season when I returned as manager of Nuneaton and the fans gave me such a warm welcome back. I will always remember that,” Wright told Darlington’s official website.

“I know that there is a great bunch of talented players in the dressing room. They have a lot of character and a lot of leadership, and Alan and I are looking forward to working with them.

“I must admit I didn’t like beating Darlington in the league last Saturday because the club means so much to me, Darlington is like my second home!”

Wright and White take charge of a team that has been in poor form of late, winning only once in 13 matches in all competitions, yet they are 12th, five places above Nuneaton.

“Martin has left me some very good players and plenty to work on and for that I must thank him,” added Wright.

“I’d like to think that we’ll get a positive reaction from the players.

“Alan and I intend to speak to them before the game on Saturday and introduce ourselves, and then we’ll watch the game from the stand.

“We won’t talk new tactics for this game, because the players will have been working on tactics with Phil and Gary during the week.

“Hopefully though our presence will give them an extra gear and we can get a positive result from Saturday’s game.

“We’re still well placed for the play-offs, we’re only a few points away from seventh place.

“I remember when I took over at Nuneaton that we won several games in a row, and hopefully we can do the same again.

“I’d like to think that our appointments will go down well with the supporters, and in turn that will get them going and backing the team.

“We really can’t wait to start our jobs and I know that Alan is just as keen as I am.”

Wright’s arrival brings to a close a less than straightforward process for Darlington since Gray’s departure.

An attempt to promote coaches Brian Atkinson and Sean Gregan to the position of joint-managers was aborted when it transpired a conflict of interest – working for the Martin Gray Football Academy – would contravene Football Association and National League rules.

Darlington then invited applications for the position and held interviews last week, former captain Kevan Smith among the candidates grilled by directors David Johnston and John Tempest, and vice-chair of the Darlington FC Supporters Group, Joanne Cameron.

The club had other possibilities – Alun Armstrong and David McGurk among them – who ultimately chose to stay with their current employers, while Whitby Town boss Chris Hardy was this week spoken to by Quakers’ hierarchy.

However, Darlington have opted to make a move that has already proven popular with supporters, who are sure to give Wright and White a warm reception today.