DARLINGTON have begun their search for a new manager, with the club not ruling out handing the job to a woman.

Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leamington, the club’s final fixture of the season, was Tommy Wright’s last as Darlington manager after he was sacked on Friday night, with the club saying results “have fallen short of expectations”.

A job advert has been placed on the Quakers’ website encouraging people to apply for the role, with bosses saying the new manager should be able “take the club forward and build towards promotion to the National League.”

As part of the job advert, the club has also revealed they will particularly welcome applications from women and black and ethnic minority candidates and will guarantee an interview to suitably qualified individuals who meet the specification above.

A spokesperson for the club said they would continue to be highly supportive of standards for equality, diversity and inclusion in line with FA guidelines, and would continue to work with Kick It Out to kick racism out of football.

Bosses say the new manage must have a UEFA ‘A’ Licence or be actively registered and studying for this qualification, as well as evidence of being able to apply coaching theory to ‘on pitch’ performance and influence game outcome positively by tactical knowledge and decision making, and the ability to manage, motivate and coach a first team squad to give of their best on the field.

The advert states: “Much has been done to stabilise and build the club in recent years, such that the club now has a sound financial position, strong fanbase, a ground back in the town and a new academy team.

“We now wish to build on this by appointing a manager who can bring success at this level and can prepare the club for the next step on this journey back to the Football League.”

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman said: “It would be great to have a female manager of Darlington– they need all the help they can get.

“The club should appoint the best person for the job, and there is no reason that shouldn’t be a woman if they have the skills and the passion for the role.

“There is no doubt that participation and involvement of women and girls in football is on the rise and roles within the sport are starting to reflect that, and that is a very good thing for the game.”

A recently published Workplace Culture in Sport report found women are under-represented in senior leadership roles and on Boards in the sector.

The report added: "There is also evidence of discrimination and negative workplace culture. This needs to change in order to create an environment in which both women and men thrive and to nurture the pipeline of talented female leaders for the future."

Announcing Wright’s departure, David Johnston, Darlington’s chief executive officer, said: “This has been a difficult decision to make as Tommy is a talented young manager with a bright future ahead of him.

“As a board we have to balance that potential versus current results which ultimately haven’t been good enough this season. I would like to wish Tommy all the very best in his future career.”

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