DARLINGTON begin pre-season training two weeks today by which point Tommy Wright wants to have completed his summer squad strengthening.

Having already recruited midfielder Liam Hughes and striker Simon Ainge since the end of last season, Wright wants to sign three more players and feels he is close to making a breakthrough.

In the manager’s sights are a goalkeeper, a midfielder and a forward, and he is confident of recruiting them by the time Quakers players begin preparing for 2018-19 on June 23.

Wright’s own preparations for making additions to the Darlington squad, however, have been in the planning stage for months and continued into off-season break, which meant fielding calls while he was on a family holiday recently in Tenerife.

“I tried to stay off the phone when the kids were around, but there were things that needed to be done - pre-season needed to be finalised,” he said. “You could turn your phone off for a day and miss out on a player.

“Things happen quickly. You can have someone throwing feelers out trying to get gauge on what you’d be prepared to do, and you also have times when managers or players want something to happen quickly.

“We’ve had names on our list since January, maybe even a bit before then, and as it stands we haven’t missed out anyone we were really going for.

“There’s two players in outfield positions I’d really like to add and the goalkeeper position will be addressed soon.”

Wright is looking at bringing in a goalkeeper on loan, and the two under consideration at the moment are both with Championship clubs.

The midfielder he would like is in the National League North, while Wright is mulling over a couple of options to strengthen the attacking ranks.

He added: “We want a goalkeeper, another central midfielder, a holding type, and another forward, so I’m anticipating another three.

“One of the players we want is still on holiday and the other one only just got back yesterday.

“I’ve been in touch with them while they’ve been away and been in touch with their agents and I’m pretty confident about getting them in.”

Darlington’s first pre-season friendly is on July 8, at home to Motherwell, so on June 23 and 30 the players will have double sessions, with Wright eager to ensure his players quickly return to full fitness.

Explaining the early returning to training, he said: “I want to see where everyone is at in terms of fitness because we’ve got some big games coming up early in pre-season so they need to be ready.

“They were all given off-season programmes and I expect them to come back at a certain level of fitness.

“Josh Heaton, Luke Trotman and Joe Wheatley will all be fitter than the rest of the lads because they’ve all been playing football and haven’t really given their bodies a rest. Their pre-season might be lighter than others on the basis that they’ve already done a lot of work.”

This week Heaton, Trotman and Wheatley have been taking part in Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, training and playing at Manchester City’s campus and hoping to impress representative from full-time clubs.

Wright visited yesterday, as did Vardy during a break before heading to the World Cup, and Quakers’ boss said: “They’re all flying and I knew they would be.

“I know the organisers of the V9, I know what the academy is all about and when they asked me for names I gave them those three.

“I wanted them to go on it and they’re under contract so there’s no risk of losing them for nothing.

“It’s meant to be a showcase for the best of non-league, and if that’s the case then those three fit the bill. I expect them to impress bit I’m not saying they’re for sale or that there’s a price tag on them, hopefully they will have enjoyed the experience.”