A FORMER Hartlepool United defender is due to be among the first signings of the summer that Darlington complete.

A move for Louis Laing, who has been with Blyth Spartans since last year, is understood to be close to completion and one of several transfers Quakers have been working on after new manager Alun Armstrong drew up a list of targets.

The 26-year-old came through the youth ranks at Sunderland and after a handful of loan spells moved to Scotland in 2015 for spells with Motherwell and then Inverness before returning to the North-East when he signed for Hartlepool two years ago.

Armstrong took him to Blyth in October 2018, and is now set to sign him again.

Laing is not the only Blyth player on Quakers’ wanted list, though Spennymoor Town are understood to share an interest in some of the same players at Croft Park.

Two other Spartans players heading for Blackwell Meadows are David Atkinson and Jarrett Rivers. 

Armstrong officially begins work as Darlington’s manager on Monday, a week after stepping down as Blyth boss.

Meanwhile, the Boost the Budget scheme smashed through the £80,000 target on Saturday, six days ahead of the deadline.

By Sunday morning it had reached £82,301, meaning around £23,000 has been pledged by supporters who own the fan-owned club since Armstrong’s appointment was announced last Tuesday.

It is an initiative of the Darlington FC Supporters Group, the club’s major shareholder. To make a pledge, click here.