DARLINGTON have completed the signing of Akwasi Asante – although the striker will not be involved in this evening’s National League North game at Chorley.

Asante has joined Quakers following his release from National League leaders Chesterfield, signing for the club on a permanent basis.

The 31-year-old started his career with Birmingham City, making his debut for the Blues in a Europa League game in 2008. During his time at St Andrew’s, he had loan spells at Northampton Town and Shrewsbury Town.

Since leaving Birmingham, he has spent time with Kidderminster, Solihull, Tamworth, Chester and, most recently, Chesterfield. He also had a spell with Grimsby Town, where he was a team-mate of current Darlington boss Josh Gowling.

Asante has won promotion from National League North with Solihill and helped Chesterfield reach the National League play-offs. He has scored more than 100 senior goals during his career, and boasts a hat-trick against Darlington, which he scored for Chester in 2018.

“I’ve played with him (Asante) at two club, when he was younger and then with Grimsby for a period,” said Gowling. “I’ve been trying to prise him away for a few years.

“I’m really happy. He’s a really respectful boy, and he’s got goals in him. He’s physical, he’ll be good in the air, and he’ll link up play really well.

“His goalscoring contributions are excellent, and he’s been pivotal to some of the successes at Chesterfield. To be able to get him is a really big coup for the football club.”

Asante has missed a big chunk of the current campaign through injury, with his last competitive appearance for Chesterfield having come back in April when he helped the Spireites to a 1-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Amsterdam-born forward will be given a mini pre-season to help build up his fitness levels, hence his absence from the squad to face Chorley.

He does not expect it will be too long before he is up to full speed though, and is looking forward to making his mark at Blackwell Meadows.

“I left Chesterfield last week, and I’ve been in talks with a few clubs,” said Asante. “I know Josh really well and he’s always showed interest and tried to get me to Hereford, where he was before.

“He messaged me a few months ago, and now we’ve managed to sort something out. Looking at the league table, it doesn’t look great, but I’m not worried about that. It’s only November and this is a big club. I’m hoping to be able to help get them up the table.”