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Darlington sack their manager after going bottom of National League North table

Darlington sack their manager after going bottom of National League North table having taken just six points from eight games played.

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after the Quakers played out a 0-0 draw with Boston United.

But overall, in 2023, the club have been putting in dire performances, bottled the playoffs and failed to pick up their form since the late stages of last season.


Following extensive discussions and reflection on the first team’s performances over the past eight months, and having consulted with the Darlington FC Supporters Group Board, the Board of DFC regrets to announce that manager Alun Armstrong and assistant manager Darren Holloway have been given notice of termination of their employment contracts, and relieved of their duties.

David Johnston, Chair and CEO, said: “Having looked at results since the start of 2023, when we were top of National League North and in particular the very poor start to the current season, we were unanimous as a board that a change needed to be made.

“It is a decision that has not come easily.

“We are sure that all fans will join us in thanking Alun and Darren for their time at Darlington FC and wish them well for the future.”

We will issue a further statement on first team staff in due course.

Darlington’s league record so far in 2023:
Played: 30
Won: 6
Drew: 11
Lost: 13


Darlington confirmed a few hours after the announcement: “Following on from the announcement that management pair Alun Armstrong and Darren Holloway have been relieved of their duties, the club would now like to announce that senior players Will Hatfield, Tom Platt and Jake Lawlor have agreed to take caretaker charge until somebody is appointed permanently to the manager’s position.

“We are certain that all Darlington fans will support the three senior players as they prepare for the away game at Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.

“The club has already received several applications for the role, and the board is now working through them. Applications should be sent by Monday teatime, 11th September.

Here’s what fans had to say as Darlington sack their manager after going bottom of National League North table…

@crusheralan: 3 wins in 27 top to bottom in 6 months no option but to go there will be some good memories but it is definitely a time for change

@QuakerPete: Had some good times with AA, but ultimately the poor run of form has been his undoing.

@PaulGC84: Well done to the DFCSG and Football Club Boards on making such a difficult decision. Now it’s time to get behind the Boards, players and remaining staff. Time to turn the National League North table upside down 👏🏻

@CarlHorner: Had to happen unfortunately. Had some good times under them and wish them the best but onwards and hopefully upwards for the club now.

@darlo672: Mixed emotions as he was likeable and with a bigger budget no doubt he would have assembled an excellent squad, but things have been stale for too long and a change is needed.

@matthew_bartram: Alun has without doubt progressed the club and given us some unbelievable memories since he got here. We just find ourselves in a situation that needs new blood and new ideas to be turned around. All the best wherever is next for you Alun🖤🤍

@Dandfcwalker97: Feel for Alun like he tried his best but it got to a point where we needed change, be interesting to see how will come in now

@TimHickman1994: Really is unfortunate that’s it’s come to this. I genuinely think with the right resources in place, Alun could’ve taken us somewhere, just look at that first half of last season. Ultimately results dictate these things in the end, all the best to them both.

@DeclanL07: Thank you for the cup runs but it was time to go

@Jordan_Toddy: It’s a real shame as I don’t think we’ll find another manager that gets the clubs structure as well as he did. But unfortunately it’s a results based business and they weren’t good enough

@PJ_DFC: Results in 2023 were not good enough and despite new players joining in the summer, the poor form has continued this season. Did their best during their tenure, we had some good memories and it’s a shame it didn’t work out. All the best for the future ⚫️⚪️

@Darlo_Robbo: It’s shame but there wasn’t any signs of improvement despite the new players coming in. Some of the players need to have good look at themselves too since it’s their poor form that has cost the management their jobs

@MKDarlo: Ssd that it has come to this as Alun always seemed a decent guy who tried hard but results have been afwul since xmas and something had to give

@richarddbaker: I wish them both the best. The boards have made the right decision in the circumstances. Onwards from here, and a new start for this season.

@Morecapsicum: Thanks for everything Alun and Dazza, but I reckon a change is right good luck for the future

@tboynton961: Finally. Nothing personal and I really wanted the guys to succeed but they really have lost the plot. We have a great group of players there that’s the bonus for whoever comes in. PS can we replace Ray too please. Fresh blood needed too to bottom.

@EllisRochester: Ultimately the right decision, I do think he had the best intentions for the club, but 2023 has been nothing short of shite and you could tell just how he looked in his post match yesterday how defeated he looked

@Logan14Cameron: It’s a shame it’s taken this long but absolutely the correct decision. It’s vital we get his replacement right 🤞

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