8:35am Thursday 3rd July 2014
By Craig Stoddart
Spennymoor Town have announced the signing of former Darlington defender Joe Tait.
The centre-back has penned a two-year contract at the Brewery Field having left Gateshead where he moved to 12 months after leaving Darlington.
He returned to Quakers on loan midway through last season and was part of the team that ended the season in the Evo-Stik First Division play-offs, which ultimately ended in defeat.
After moving to Spennymoor, Tait said: “The enthusiasm and professionalism I got from the manager and the chairman made it a no-brainer.
“This is where I want to play my football and I can’t wait to get started and pay back the backing and support I’ve received from everyone at the club.”
As Town were promoted from the Northern League in May, Tait is likely to face his former team-mates during the forthcoming season.
Spennymoor boss Jason Ainsley said: “To bring a player of Joe’s calibre to Spennymoor Town on a two-year contract speaks volumes of the progression we have made under the chairmanship of Brad Groves.
“Centre half was a position we have been looking at for a long time and we are delighted to have Joe on board alongside Jonno and Mase.
“Joe has played at higher levels throughout his career and will be a massive presence both on and off the pitch, he is a natural leader which has impressed me whenever I have watched him play for Darlington and we wish him every success with us.”
Meanwhile, the exits from Darlington of Jonny Davis and Ian Ward have been confirmed. Davis has returned to Durham while Ward has signed a contract with Celtic Nation.
Darlington are to hold a fans’ forum next week at Blackwell Meadows with manager Martin Gray and assistant Brian Atkinson in attendance.
Taking place on Wednesday, July 9, there shall be a presentation by the club's board after which fans will be invited to ask any questions. Gray, Atkinson and several players will be in attendance to talk about on-field matters and preparation for the new season.
All fans are welcome to attend the event which will also be an opportunity to buy season tickets and the club's new home shirts.
Darlington returned to pre-season training on Tuesday and their first friendly is on Saturday, July 12 at Newcastle Benfield.
Other games to be played are:
Tuesday, July 15: away at Northallerton Town (7.30pm)
Saturday, July 19: home to Sunderland (3pm)
Saturday, July 26: away at Billingham Synthonia (3pm)
Saturday, August 2: away at Whitby Town (3pm)
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