9:00am Wednesday 30th October 2013
By Craig Stoddart
NATHAN Fisher will make his Darlington debut this evening after a five-week wait for his transfer to be rubber stamped finally reached a successful conclusion.
Quakers and the striker been in dialogue with his former club in Thailand, Samut Prakan Customs United, in a frustrating attempt to secure the document required to allow him to play.
When he joined Thailand second-tier club from Gateshead during the summer, the English FA took two days to give him international clearance, but since returning to the North-East the Thai FA's administration has been less hasty.
Fisher, from Richmond, has missed nine Darlington games since the club announced his arrival on September 22, but this evening in a Durham Senior Cup tie at home to Sunderland RCA he will finally play for the club he supported as a boy.
"Its a bit of a relief for everyone at the club and especially for Nathan because it means he can get back to playing football now," said manager Martin Gray.
"He's trained well and has looked after himself, but he needs to be playing games so he'll start on Wednesday.
"People have been working hard within the club to get it sorted and Nathan himself has been getting up at 3am nearly every night to try and speak to people in Thailand.
"When you think about his pedigree and the fact he's a Darlington fan, I'm delighted we can get on with playing him in games."
While Gray fielded a youthful XI in the first round at Harton & Westoe, Fisher will start in a team this evening that, although featuring wholesale changes, will include several senior players.
The manager wants to give a run-out those that have not regularly started first team games recently, so Bruno Pilatos, Jordan Robinson, Paul Robinson, Jonny Davis and Steven Johnson will all start.
Also, Nathan Thomas, who signed last week after being released by Sunderland, will play as will goalkeeper Peter Jameson having made his debut in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Lancaster City.
Thomas, a 19-year-old forward that can play on the wing or up front, had a brief loan spell with Darlington last season.
Gray said: "He's been used to a different style of football, a different way of playing the game. It's now about winning for him and working hard for the team, but I thought his performance on Saturday was alright.
"He put a great shift in and showed one or two great bits of skill.
"He's not on a contract, but he's signed and I'm sure he'll be better on our home pitch on a flatter surface."
Quakers have reduced admission for this evenings 7.30pm kick-off, with adult tickets £6 and concessions £4.
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