HAVING made Michael Liddle their first summer arrival on Monday, three of Darlington’s next signings will come from Blyth Spartans too.

David Atkinson, Louis Laing and Jarrett Rivers are all wanted by Alun Armstrong, the former Blyth boss who officially became Quakers’ manager at the beginning of this week.

He wasted little time in recruiting left-back Liddle, and now wants three more Spartans, all of whom played a part in Blyth reaching the play-offs this season and their arrivals will be announced soon.

Atkinson, 26, came through the ranks at Middlesbrough but did not make a senior appearance for Boro and after leaving three years ago spent time playing for Carlisle United and in the Icelandic top-flight.

In an interview last year, while playing for IBV, he said: “I have a lot of respect for the manager at Blyth [Alun Armstrong] and also I think he will have a great career as a manager.

“I always had a return to ÍBV in the back of my mind and Europa League football was a big factor in my return.”

He had spells with Blyth either side of two spells in Iceland, but now moves to Blackwell Meadows as will Laing and Rivers.

Speedy winger Rivers, 25, made his mark by scoring Blyth’s winner in an FA Cup game away to Hartlepool United televised live by the BBC in 2014, and then spent the 2015-16 season with Blackpool before returning to Croft Park after a year.

Laing, 26, began his career at Sunderland and moved to Scotland in 2015 for spells with Motherwell and then Inverness before signing for Hartlepool two years ago and Armstrong took him to Blyth in October 2018.