FORMER League One star Marcus Maddison may well have turned a few heads when he made the switch to Darlington but it turns out the player himself was the one who orchestrated a move to the club for next season.

Maddison’s move was announced on Wednesday morning as he became the Quakers fourth signing of the summer ahead of the new National League North season.

The 28-year-old carries a lot of Football League pedigree. Having come through the academy at Newcastle United, the attacking midfielder went on to score 62 goals in 249 appearances over six seasons at Peterborough United with his performances alerting the likes of Middlesbrough and Sunderland. However, a move never came about.

Having found himself at a loose end this summer, he was looking to move back up to his native North-East which is where Darlington and social media came into the picture.

“It was a very unconventional way to join a football club” he said.

“Basically, I was thinking that I want to come up north. I then had to go on my phone and have a look at the teams and message Darlington on Instagram and sent them my number to tell them I would be interested.

“I got a call the next day and as soon as we spoke, this is where I wanted to be.”

After a headline grabbing spell with Posh, Maddison’s career stagnated over the subsequent years with less than fruitful spells at Hull City, Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers before dropping completely out of the professional game last season. He ended up joining part-time outfit Spalding United which shocked many but he admits it was exactly what was needed for his career and wellbeing.

Maddison continued: “It’s a tough one. Thing did not go well at Bolton and my headspace, I just wasn’t in the right way to play football anymore.

“I think taking this year out, getting my injury has made a huge difference to me mentally. I know what I want now and where I want to be. I want to be up north, I want to enjoy myself. I’ve got six or seven good years left in football so I am going to use them.

“Training day in, day out, year after year, never actually winning anything was very frustrating but I think the year out has made me realise that football is all I know. It’s all I’m good at and it’s what I want to do.

“Individually yes, I did have some good performances (with Peterborough). I won player of the month, goal of the month but there was always something missing that I never won a trophy as a teen and that has always bugged me. I’ve never been promoted, I’ve never won anything as a group so coming here, that is definitely my goal.”

Following the club’s Boost the Budget campaign, manager Alun Armstrong is currently in the process of assembling a squad capable of pushing for promotion this season. Whitby Town due Jacob Hazel and Jassem Sukar have signed for the club whilst Danny Rose made his loan move permanent this summer.

The Quakers are moving into a hybrid model of working for next season which is somewhere between part-time and full-time work well they have plans to move to a new ground by 2025 with two locations earmarked for development.