Future is bright at Darlington, says Craig Liddle

CRAIG Liddle says it is vital Darlington take advantage of the newfound unity engulfing the club.

Darlington Manager Craig Liddle

CRAIG Liddle says it is vital Darlington take advantage of the newfound unity engulfing the club.

The Quakers caretaker manager believes that, equipped with the youth team resources at his disposal, the future might yet remain a bright one.

Darlington remain in administration after last week’s ‘13th-hour’ reprieve from liquidation.

They lost narrowly at home to Blue Square Bet Premier big boys Fleetwood Town on Saturday, and travel to second-bottom Hayes & Yeading United tonight.

Liddle was hoping the Football Conference might relax the transfer embargo on the club in time for kick-off, but either way, he has called on all at the club to stick together.

“It’s vital we pull together,” Liddle said. “Over the years we’ve had too many different parties pulling against each other. Now, everybody seems to have come together and we’re pushing in the right direction. It’s important that as a football club we take advantage of that.

“It certainly isn’t going to be easy over the next few days and weeks. But we do seem to have regrouped, we’ve got to make the most of that.

“Now it’s up to me to try and put a team together that people are going to be interested in coming to watch, we’ve got to try and make the football entertaining.

“If we do that, I’m pretty sure people will continue to come and back us. Everybody knows the state we’re in. So the longer we can keep everybody gelled together, the better it is for the club.”

Better too, that it is blessed with such talented youngsters.

Amid their troubles, Dale Hopson has already made quite a name for himself, and on Saturday Liddle gave run-outs to three other members of his thriving youth team – Scott Harrison, Rob Ramshaw and Jamie Barton.

They, Liddle believes, hold the key to Darlington’s future.

He said: “If the club is to move on, the youth should – and hopefully will be – a massive part of it

“We can’t afford to keep paying out the huge wages which we have done in the past. That’s been one of the big downfalls, the salaries that some of the players have been paid. That’s not their fault, that’s the powers that be.

“So for me, the youth team are a huge part of the club, and its future.”

Meanwhile, Hartlepool United chief executive Russ Green has revealed that the League One club have offered to organise a fund-raising friendly in the first week of February at the Arena, with the Quakers able to keep all of the revenue raised.

“We’d be delighted to send a team over there and play a friendly to hopefully help them raise some funds,” Green said.

“Football is a big family and we have to stick together, especially when it’s a local club, we will do anything we can to help.”


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