DARLINGTON boss Alun Armstrong has completed a key plank of his summer squad building by tying up goalkeeper Tommy Taylor to a new two-year deal.

Taylor has been one of Quakers’ star performers since joining from Buxton last summer, with his performances a key factor in the club’s ongoing push for promotion via the National League North play-offs.

The 29-year-old has been an ever-present in Darlington’s starting line-up this term, with Armstrong delighted to have secured his services for another two seasons.

“I’m over the moon,” said the Quakers boss, ahead of this weekend’s crucial Easter double-header against Curzon Ashton and Gateshead. “It’s taken us until the third year to get a goalkeeper that I think is really top-notch.

“Tommy’s come in, and he took a wage drop to come here from Buxton. He wanted to prove he was capable, and he’s done that. We’ve agreed a new two-year deal, starting next season, and I’m absolutely delighted with the kid.

“He’s been fantastic, and he’s just getting better. He’s 29, but that’s young for a goalkeeper and he’s just going to get better and better. What a character he is as well. You can see that with the fans and the players, everyone can see what he’s like and I’m just so pleased to get him tied down on a two-year deal.”

Armstrong discussed Taylor’s future with the shot-stopper at the end of last month, and it did not take long for the pair to strike up an agreement over a new contract.

“I spoke with the gaffer a few weeks ago, and he mentioned that he wanted me to sign a new deal here at the club,” said the goalkeeper, who began his career as a youngster in Sheffield Wednesday’s youth ranks. “It was an easy decision for me.

“I absolutely love it here, and I’m delighted to be here for another two years. The fans seem to have taken to me well. I love playing in front of them – they always back me every week regardless – and I’m just delighted to be here for another two years playing in front of them.”

Darlington have six games of the regular National League North season remaining, and currently occupy the final play-off position, ahead of Kettering and York on goal difference.

“We’ve kicked on in the last two weeks and picked up results,” said Taylor. “Before that, a lot of people had probably written us off, but while ever there is still a chance, the lads are going to be giving 110 per cent. If it goes right down to the wire, we’ll be giving it our all, and hopefully we can creep in at the end of the season.”