Darlington manager Martin Gray says that Quakers will be in for a “really tough test against a very talented team” in their attractive friendly against Newcastle United at the Northern Echo Arena on Monday night (kick off 7pm)
The Magpies are sending an Under 23 side, that includes a huge amount of skill and potential, but it has often been the case in the past that the Magpies have also included established first team players in their squad, so there may be one or two pleasant surprises in store.
“I’ve looked through the Newcastle squad, and there are certainly some very good players in there,” said MG.
“There are lads who have been at Newcastle for several years, having come through their youth system, and so they have improved their game as they have got older, to the point that last season they were pushing for places in the first team squad. Some of them have played in the first team, which proves their pedigree.
“They have also signed some players during the summer, who presumably they have watched on many occasions, and view them as potential first team players.
“They are also under the guidance of Peter Beardsley, whom everyone knows is a Newcastle legend, and he will be instilling some very good habits into his players.”
Quakers, meanwhile, are stepping up their preparations for the new season quite nicely, and on Friday night had a training session and practice match at the training ground at Peterlee.
“We’re halfway through our pre-season now, and I’m happy with the way things are going,” said MG.
“Undoubtedly, this is a tough game against a very talented team, and I will be demanding a huge amount of effort and commitment from our players. This is ideal preparation for the league season.”
Quakers’ remaining friendlies are:
Friday 21st July: Bishop Auckland away, kick off 7.30pm
Wednesday 26th July: Gateshead, away, kick off 7.30pm
Saturday 29th July: Guiseley, away, kick off 3.00pm
Then of course the Vanarama National League North begins on Saturday 5th August at Salford City, followed by the home games against Gainsborough on Wednesday 9th August and Alfreton on Saturday 12th August.
Don’t forget to pick up your three Virgin Trains 30 per cent discount vouchers at the turnstiles.
Admission is £10 adults, and £5 for concessions.