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First Team

Darlington: Club Connections

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Fri 23 Dec 2016
Posted in First Team





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FC Halifax Town face Darlington twice within the space of a week over the Christmas period, with the first being on boxing day at Blackwell Meadows.

We look at players and managers who have featured for both The Shaymen and The Quakers throughout the years…

Central defender Danny Hone is the only player in the current squad too have turned out for both Darlington and The Shaymen, albeit Darlington F.C. who folded in 2012. The 27-year-old was on the books at boyhood club Lincoln City when he was sent out on loan to the Quakers during the 2010/11 season, making over 20 appearances and scoring just the one goal during his loan spell. Hone also spent time with Gainsborough Trinity and North Ferriby before joining The Shaymen this summer.

Former Shayman manager Neil Aspin, who led the side to numerous promotions, appeared for Darlington during the turn of the century. The former defender joined the North East side from Port Vale after making over 340 appearances for Vale. Aspin then went on to spend two years at Darlo making 50 appearances and losing out in the Third Division play-off final to Peterborough United, making it his third defeat in a play-off final.

Aspin was appointed the manager of The Shaymen midway through 2009 when they were in the Northern Premier League Division One. Aspin guided Halifax into the Conference Premier after beating Brackley Town 1-0 to secure their third successive promotion. Aspin made the move further up north to Gateshead in 2015 after six successful years at The Shay.

Another player to have donned the shirt of both Halifax and Darlington is Jason St Juste. The 31-year-old made the move to the Quakers very early in his career (2004), after being spotted at the Leeds Brazilian Soccer School’s program. St Juste only spent a sole year at Darlo making just 15 appearances before making the move to the south coast with Southampton.

It wasn’t then until six years later when the winger made the move to The Shay, where he spent two years under Neil Aspin. The now Boston United man made 47 appearances for The Shaymen, with several these coming in the unfamiliar role of left-back, with an injury to Scott McManus allowing St Juste to start more games.

Current Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower also featured for the two sides. Bower made the move to Darlington prior to The Shaymen making just short of 15 appearances before being released at the end of the season due to the Quakers relegation League Two. FC Halifax Town then picked up the defender on a free transfer and was almost ever-present in the side during his one season at The Shay. Bower made 48 appearances and had one goal to his name before being snapped up by West Yorkshire rivals Guiseley as their vice-captain.


One more player who had brief loan spells at both clubs was the well-travelled wingerCraig Nelthorpe. The loan spells for the two clubs came back in 2008 with Nelthorpe being sent out on loan by parent club Doncaster Rovers. The 29-year-old made a handful of appearances for the two sides during his brief spells at the clubs. Nelthorpe scored four minutes into his Halifax debut and featured in the play-off semi-final second leg for Darlo against Rochdale in 2008, which the side lost 5-4 on penalties.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist