JOSH GILLIES has become the fourth player to leave Darlington to join South Shields this summer.

Quakers have accepted a bid from the ambitious South Tyneside club and he follows Gary Brown, Chris Hunter and Phil Turnbull in moving from Blackwell Meadows to Mariners Park.

South Shields hade long since made their interest known in Gillies, who only signed a new one-year deal with Darlington a couple of months ago.

However, Shields persisted and made several bids. Furthermore, Quakers boss Tommy Wright is on the verge of replacing Gillies with a left-winger, so Darlington have taken the opportunity to sell to the Northern Premier League club.

Wright said: “Shields have shown an interest in the player since I arrived, making several enquiries and subsequent bids but the timing wasn’t right for us as a club.

“With the summer additions of Simon Ainge and most recently Jordan Nicholson to complement what we already had in Reece Styche, Stephen Thompson and Harvey Saunders we felt the timing was now right for us to part ways with the player.

“We will also be adding an out an out left-winger that will give the team better balance.”

The new signing, likely to be announced with the next 24 hours, is currently a free agent and has previously played for Wright, who describes him as having “electric pace”.

Gillies signed for Darlington in 2016, scoring 19 goals in 81 games.

He becomes the 11th player to leave Darlington since the end of last season.

As well as Brown, Hunter and Turnbull, also deemed surplus to requirements have been Tom Portas (West Auckland), Leon Scott, Kevin Burgess (both Scarborough Athletic), Liam Marrs, Greg Mills (Stourbridge), plus teenagers Dale Milburn and Lee Hulme.