DARLINGTON supporters have shown their faith in new manager Alun Armstrong with the club now on the verge of beating last year’s season tickets sales.

The current tally stands at 881, four fewer than last season which turned out to be a dismal campaign and one that all concerned would rather forget.

It ended with Quakers 16th in the table, their lowest finish since the administration affected year of 2011-12, knocked out of both the FA Cup and Trophy in the first round and ended with Tommy Wright leaving as manager.

Armstrong replaced him in May, since bringing in ten players and enthusing supporters with his straight-talking approach while the team’s performances in pre-season friendlies have been encouraging.

The manager said: “I’m thrilled with the level of support and commitment shown by the fans which justifies my decision to come here and I know the players are all excited to be playing in front of the fans next season.

“Breaking the 1,000 barrier would be a fantastic achievement and I certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

“As I’ve already stated - one of my main objectives is to bring back those lapsed fans who have disappeared in recent seasons by playing an exciting brand of football, this is a great start towards this.”

Of the 881 season tickets sold, 542 are one-year and pay monthly, and 339 are members of the 500 Club.

Quakers’ pay-monthly option, which allows fans to spread the cost evenly across 12 months via direct debit, was launched last month and the club says there are only a limited number available.

Season tickets purchased up to and including July 15 are available for collection from Quaker Retail now as well as before Darlington’s friendly at Blackwell Meadows versus Middlesbrough under-U23s on Saturday, July 27 (1pm).

The National League North season starts with a match at Farsley Celtic on Saturday, August 3, with Darlington’s first home match being against Gateshead on Wednesday, August 7.

Darlington lost 2-1 at home to FC Halifax Town on Saturday, and on Tuesday evening play their latest friendly at Northallerton Town (7.30pm).

Armstrong said: “It’ll be a mix of teams to give lads 45 minutes each. Thursday we’ll train again and look at our shape for Saturday.”