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Keltie returns as Darlington do double deal
A familiar face yesterday returned to Darlington for his third spell as one of two new signings.
Midfielder Clark Keltie has rejoined, five months after his previous period with the club came to an end, and he was joined by goakeeper Craig Turns who arrives from Spennymoor Town.
Newcastle-born Keltie ended last season with Darlington when they were in the Conference and over the summer played in Iceland.
It was the second successive summer that the 29-year-old has played in the Icelandic league. His season there this time around was cut short due to a hamstring injury.
He has now fully recovered, though, and manager Martin Gray says that Keltie turned down more lucrative offers, including one from Celtic Nation, to rejoin.
Gray said: "Clark trained on Wednesday and he just needs some games now for match fitness.
"It's a fantastic signing. I first signed Clark when he was a teenager so it's nice to give him another opportunity."
Gray was Quakers' youth team coach when Keltie joined from Tyneside club Walker Central in 2001.
Keltie and Turns expect to be available to play for the Northern League leaders tomorrow against Bedlington Terriers at Heritage Park.
Turns was Spennymoor's first-choice keeper during their three consecutive title-winning campaigns, until losing his place midway through last season.
"He was their No 1 for three seasons and they were three championship-winning seasons as well," said Gray.
"But he was made available and when a keeper of that calibre is available at this level then you have to be interested.
"He's 6ft and a really good shot-stopper. He's got a really good background because he was at Sunderland and worked with Tony Norman [Darlington goalkeepnig coach].
"It's good competition for Jack Norton and it's no different to Stephen Thompson coming in as a forward or Clark Keltie coming in as a midfielder - it's a signing that strengthens the squad."
Meanwhile, reserve keeper Chris Porter is to join Bishop Auckland, who have lost a number of goalkeepers recently due to injury.
Gray said: "They've lost a few keepers recently so were helping them out.
"He's signed for them, it's not a loan, but we've got an agreement in place meaning we can bring him back if we need to."
Meanwhile, Bedlington have signed Alan O'Brien, the ex-Newcastle winger from Hednesford, and centre-back Chris Carr from West Auckland.