6:52pm Wednesday 7th May 2014
By Craig Stoddart
The season is barely over and already Darlington have begun their summer recruitment by bolstering their strikeforce.
Graeme Armstong has agreed to join on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract after leaving Whitby Town where he has been a big hit.
The 30-year-old netted 30 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions in 2013-14, none of them penalties, and cleaned up at the Seasiders' end of season awards presentation.
"He's a big centre-forward and a fantastic signing for us. He's exactly what we need," delighted Darlington manager Martin Gray today said, who revealed that he first tried to land Armstrong two years ago.
"To get a player who has scored so many goals at the level above on a free transfer is excellent.
"He's been there and done it, he scores goals, he's physical and the kind of player I like."
In total, Armstrong scored 44 goals in 87 Whitby games and last summer made his mark in a pre-season friendly against Quakers at the Turnbull Ground during a surprisingly competitive afternoon in which the target-man demonstrated his combative capabilities.
Gray added: "I tried to sign him two years ago when I was trying to build a squad before the Northern League season. He was one of the first players I tried to sign, but he wanted to play at a higher level, which was fair enough.
"But I've kept my eye on him and spoken to him again and this time he wants to come and help us get promoted.
Armstrong, who has also played for Blyth and Gateshead, recently picked up Whitby's player of the year awards from both supporters, players and website voters.
Speaking to the Whitby Gazette before his move to Darlington was announced, Armstrong said: "It's been probably my best season for a lot of years and nice that all the goals came from open play.
"We have a team of players who create a lot of goals and when you have that sort of service, you score goals."
With already plenty of forward options at Gray's disposal, Armstrong's arrival puts a question mark over the future of a couple of strikers at the club.
Having missed out on promotion this season, there are sure to be more Darlington signings before the next campaign begins in August.
Gray refused to identify which positions he is looking at strengthening, but said: "There's one or two more to come in which I'm working very hard on now."
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