DARLINGTON play at Blyth Spartans tomorrow and their squad is due to be bolstered by some fresh faces, a couple of which will be familiar to supporters.

Liam Hughes is in line to return to the squad after a month away from football while resolving personal issues.

He today leaves the Sporting Chance Clinic in Hampshire, a charity which treats sports personalities for addictive disorders.

Quakers manager Tommy Wright says the 26-year-old has stuck to a fitness programme that has seen him lose weight and he is eager to make a swift return to action.

Having not kicked a ball in a competitive match since January 5, however, Wright will be reluctant to name him in the starting XI at Blyth.

Nonetheless, Wright and the club’s supporters will welcome Hughes' return to availability having missed the last three matches.

The manager, speaking yesterday, said: “He is heading home on Friday morning. I spoke to him on Wednesday, I’ll speak to him tonight and I’ll probably speak to him on Friday too – he’s adamant that he wants to be involved on Saturday.

“He’s done the work and he’s lost weight, but you can’t replicate minutes on the pitch.

“We need to have a look at him first before he plays. It might be a case that we have to ease him back in, but I would’ve thought he will be involved in some capacity.”

Joining Hughes are to set be two new signings: one a striker that has previously played for Darlington and a left-back on loan from a National League club, who can also play left-midfield.

The paperwork on their arrivals is due to be completed this morning.

One player who has already put pen to paper recently is defender Terry Galbraith, a stalwart of the Darlington squad who triggered a new one-year contract after making 25 appearances this season. 

After Stephen Thompson he is Quakers' second long-serving player having joined from Dunston UTS in December 2012.

Having been a big part of the past, making over 250 appearances, Galbraith remains highly thought of by Wright, who has made him captain.

“I told him he’d do it by the end of January and he has done,” said Wright.

“Since the minute I came through the door he has been an ever-present unless he’s been injured, he’s played a massive part.

“He’s got the armband now so that shows how highly I hold him.”

Galbraith and Thompson are the only players remaining with Darlington from the starting XI that played at Blyth last season on October 28, 2017 when Wright took charge of his first match after being appointed manager.

Darlington lost the fixture 3-1 having held a 1-0 half-time lead thanks to a Dave Syers goal.

The teams drew 1-1 at Blackwell Meadows in August, Reece Styche scoring for Quakers after Dan Maguire had put Spartans ahead.