STEVE Watson believes Darlington will have the best goalkeeper in National League North next season after the return of Pete Jameson.

The 31-year-old, a free agent after leaving Harrogate last month, has signed a one-year deal with Quakers and is targeting promotion at Blackwell Meadows.

Signing a keeper was a priority for Quakers this summer after the exit of Tommy Taylor and impressive loanee Matty Young's return to Sunderland at the end of last season.

And Watson identified Jameson, who he knows well from their time together at York, as Darlington's top target.

Watson said: “The goalkeeping position is all important in a team, and you really need to have a really strong keeper.

“In my opinion, Pete is the best keeper at this level. When he was with me at York, he saved us numerous points, and since then, he has gained more experience in the Football League and the National League and got even better.

“Pete enjoyed success with the club before, and had a great relationship with the fans, which was another reason why he wanted to return.”

Jameson played a key role in helping Darlington win promotions through EvoStik League First Division and Premier Division into National League North before leaving for South Shields on loan in 2017. He then joined Blyth the following summer before linking up with Watson at York City.

The keeper spent three years with York, playing 102 games, earning a move into the Football League with Harrogate. He spent last season on loan at Hartlepool.

"With me having worked with the gaffer and having been here before, it was an easy decision to come back," said Jameson.

"He's a top manager and a top bloke as well. I have a lot of respect for him. We have a successful relationship on and off the pitch.

"I've had some unbelievable times (at Darlington) and hopefully we can replicate that success.

"The fans have always been brilliant with me, I've always really appreciated that and it's nice to be back.

"I kept an eye out last season, Steve came in and did an amazing job. This year we have to look up and make sure we're pushing at the right end and looking for promotion."