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Darlington confirm appointment of two former EFL players as part of new management team

Darlington confirm the appointment of two former EFL players as part of their new management team ahead of Saturday’s game vs Gloucester.

It comes after Darlington sacked manager Alun Armstrong following a poor start to the season, leaving them bottom of the National League North table with six points from nine games played.

Armstrong and assistant manager Darren Holloway lost their jobs following “reflection” on the first team’s performances over the last eight months, bottling promotion/playoff hopes.


Darlington FC is today thrilled to announce a new management team of Josh Gowling and Danny Rose.

With immediate effect, Josh, 39, has been appointed manager. He had an 18 year playing career as a centre half which started at West Bromwich Albion and took him to AFC Bournemouth, Carlisle, Gillingham, Lincoln City, Kidderminster, Grimsby, Torquay, Alfreton and Hereford making over 500 appearances in total. He played for Grimsby in the 2016 Conference play off final, when they defeated Forest Green at Wembley.

Josh, who is a UEFA A qualified coach, joined Hereford for the second time as a player in December 2018, and in January 2020 was appointed their player-manager following the departure of Russell Slade. In 2021, he guided them to the FA Trophy final at Wembley only to lose to Hornchurch, and he also led the Bulls to the first round of the FA Cup last season against Portsmouth in a televised game. He also took them to the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup in season 2021-22.

Our former midfielder Danny Rose has been appointed as Josh’s assistant.

Danny, who is also a UEFA A coach, is well known to Darlington fans as he joined us on loan from Grimsby Town in October 2021, and then signed a permanent deal as a player-coach in the summer of 2022.

Danny started his playing career at Manchester United, and went on to play for Oxford United, Newport County, Fleetwood, Aldershot, Oxford, Northampton, Portsmouth, Swindon, Grimsby and ourselves.

He won five promotions with Newport County, Fleetwood, Northampton, Portsmouth and Swindon and just like Josh, he made over 500 appearances in his career.

He made 46 appearances for us, scoring once, and was player-coach for the 2022-23 season before he left in the summer and joined Cleethorpes from the NPL East as a non-contract player.

After receiving more than 30 very good quality applications, nine first round interviews and undergoing a rigorous interview process which involved a panel of four that included a representative from the DFCSG, Josh was the unanimous preferred candidate of the interview panel.

David Johnston, the club’s Chief Executive Officer, said; “I was extremely impressed by Josh when I met him last Sunday, and I could understand why he had been recommended for the job by several people.

“He seems a perfect fit for us, in terms of his playing philosophy, his coaching methods, his standards, his interaction with fans and his involvement with the local community and academy.

“Everybody is eagerly looking forward to working with him and we are confident that our fortunes will start to improve under him. I would urge all Darlington fans to support him as much as possible, beginning with the big game on Saturday against Gloucester.

“I would like to thank Will Hatfield, Jake Lawlor and Tom Platt for all their hard work in looking after the team in the last two matches and give Josh something to build on.”

Here’s how fans reacted as Darlington confirm the appointment of two former EFL players as part of their new management team…

@andyhoj: Welcome to the club Josh and welcome back Danny!

@stuwardsportmad: Good luck lads

@ryanjoness_: Welcome Josh and welcome back Danny. Best of luck 👍🏻

@darloite: Welcome back danny and welcome Josh best of luck to you both

@stretcha75: Good luck to Josh and Danny. Looking forward to some fresh approaches and new ideas to get the best out of our existing squad. Onwards and upwards!

@beatroute66: A progressive and exciting appointment of two bright and up’n’coming managers/coaches following a thorough recruitment process by the club in double-quick time. New ideas from Josh coupled with Danny’s recent knowledge of the club. Let’s get right behind them both. ⚫️ ⚪️ ⚫️

@BlythsGreenArmy: Seems like an odd appointment, especially as Stockdale and Watson had been talked about so much.

@CarlHorner: That’s a bit of a surprise and can’t say my knowledge of Gowling is anything more than I’ve heard of him but good luck to him!

@nufcjames_: As long as he doesn’t play long ball 👍🏼

@BeagleCG: Let’s kickstart this season lads, back them and get behind them. They’ve took on a tough task! #Darlo ❤️

@onesamaaron: We’re going down

Mike Hill: Welcome to the madhouse!!! Us true fans will be right behind you all the way!! DTID!!

Kevin Thompson: Look a sensible appointed. At least he’s young and hungry for success. Let’s back him, you never know what happen.

Andrew Park: So much slagging off on social media already, never known a fanbase like it. Get behind the new management team eh, they’ve got my full support. Welcome back Danny and welcome to Darlo Josh.

Garry Waters: Welcome aboard Gaffa !! And welcome back Danny Rose 🔥👏👏👏👏

Theresa Clear: Wasn’t expecting that. Good luck Josh and welcome back Danny Rose.

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