DARLINGTON’S match with Motherwell tomorrow is the first friendly of the Alun Armstrong era and will see a number of new faces in Quakers colours.

Adam Campbell is the latest to join the club, the former Newcastle United striker will be among a handful of new recruits getting a run-out at Blackwell Meadows (2pm) including Chris Elliott, David Atkinson, Jarrett Rivers, Jamie Holmes, Louis Laing and Jordan Watson.

They will be joined in the in the squad by a small number of trialists, among them being midfielders Will Hatfield and Omar Holness.

Holness’ short-term contract expired after ending last season with Quakers and his eagerness to impress during training has caught Armstrong’s attention, while Osagi Bascome is also hoping to catch the manager’s eye, and so too is a trialist striker from Bermuda.

Hatfield is from much closer to home, a 27-year-old former Accrington and Guiseley midfielder, and is a player Armstrong wants in his team.

“He started at Leeds and played league football with Accrington, so he’s got plenty of experience behind him,” said the manager.

“He’s got a real desire and worth ethic, a bit of metal and he doesn’t give in.”

Hatfield arriving would compensate for missing out on previous targets Connor Newton and Alex Pattison. Newton went to Whickham, while Wycombe is Pattison’s destination.

Armstrong admitted: “When a League 1 clubs comes in you cannot turn that down, but he’s a Darlo lad born and bred and would’ve been ideal.”

New signing Michael Liddle, who is a left-back signed from Blyth, and Terry Galbraith are unavailable, but will return in time for Friday’s friendly at Harrogate Town.

Their absence and a lack of numbers in a squad that still needs additions, and this week saw Simon Ainge join Boston United on loan for the season, means Jonny Burn may be involved.

The defender has recently been training with Queen of the South but has not been offered a deal and remains under contract with Darlington for another 12 months.

Armstrong said: “At the end of the day he’s a Darlington player, and he’s got to give it his best if he wants to resurrect his career.

“He wants to fight for his place. You can never say never, but his attitude has got to be right, the application has got be right and he’s got to show a lot more than he did last year.”

Motherwell won comfortably at Blackwell 12 months ago and it would be a surprise if it were not the same outcome bearing in mind Quakers are short on numbers for their first pre-season friendly, while the match is the Scottish Premier League side’s last before their season begins.

Next weekend they play their first competitive game of 2019-20, a Betfred Cup match against Queen of the South.

“I had wanted to play the starting XI, but it’s not going to be the case,” admitted Armstrong.

“Terry and Michael are both away and we haven’t got the midfield sorted. It’s going to be a tough game for the lads, but we’ll get through it.

“They start their cup games next week, but we haven’t even got our first XI together yet. It’s going to be trial and error, and it’s all about fitness for us. The key thing is not to get any injuries, and to have some positive patterns of play. The chemistry with the lads is going to be brand new.

“I want the front four to start and get some chemistry between them, some link-up play. That’s going to be one of the main things from the day, getting them to press as a group.

“Jarrett and Holmes know each other obviously, but we’ve got Campbell and Thompson in there as well.

“There’s a bit of work to do there, but this is what pre-season is for, it’s not about results, and you never know it might just click, but there’s always something to work on at this time of year.

“There’s a couple of academy kids that have stood out so they will be involved on Saturday. They’ve done well, their attitude has been smashing so they will be in the squad.”

Armstrong has been pleased with the five training sessions since preparations for 2019-20 began.

He added: “The lads have been as good as gold with the workrate they’ve put it. The application, their work ethic has been top notch.

“The lads are willing to do it. Every single player knew what was coming, they know how hard we’ve got to work, how fit we’ve got to be to play the way I want and the lads have all bought into it.”