Darlington have announced that they will be running a reserve team in the Wearside League with immediate effect.
The team, which will be known as Darlington 1883 Reserves, has taken over from Horden, and will be playing its home matches on the brand new 3G playing surface at Eastbourne in Darlington.
The team will be jointly managed by three people – Mark Fanning, Steve Johnson and Paul Aldsworth – with former Horden officials Norman Stephens and John Stubbs as chairman and secretary respectively.
First team manager Martin Gray said; “This is the final piece of the jigsaw, something we’ve been intending to put into place over the last year or two. The aim is to use this as mainly an Under 23 team, giving an opportunity for Under 18 players to continue their development.
“We have installed a very good management team, and their priority is to win promotion to the Northern League.
“They will also be playing their home games on the new state-of-the-art surface at Eastbourne School, so it will be ideal for our fans to come along and see how the club’s youngsters are developing in senior football.”
The three members of the management team have all got plenty of experience. Mark Fanning has previously managed Darlington Under 18s, and before that he managed Northallerton and Willington in the Northern League.
Steve Johnson is well known to Darlington fans, having helped Quakers to the Northern League title in 2013 and has recently been managing the Darlington Under 15 All Stars.
Paul Aldsworth was manager of Coundon Conservative Club when they won the all England FA Sunday Cup at Anfield in 2007, and after that he was on the coaching staff at Shildon.
All three have been in charge of Horden’s recent games in the Wearside League.
The reserves first game at Eastbourne will be on Saturday 15th October against Annfield Plain, while they are scheduled to be at Prudhoe this Saturday.
Horden are currently 17th in the Wearside League, four places off the bottom, having won three and drawn three of their thirteen matches.