FORMER Darlington 1883 defender Matty Grieve believes his old outfit have got a more than good chance of taking a step onto the first rung back up the promotion ladder.
The Quakers, who entered then were brought out of administration last season and instructed by the FA to become a new club, were relegated four divisions into the Ebac Northern League.
Manager Martin Gray has assembled a new squad now nine points clear at the top of the table and which has plundered no fewer than 53 goals in 15 league outings with only one defeat.
Six of those goals came in Saturday’s demolition of Ashington at Heritage Park.
Grieve, 21, was released by the Colliers earlier in the season then had a short spell with Darlington before making a return to his hometown club.
Following the 6-1 defeat at the weekend, the ex-Newcastle United man said: “They will face competition from the likes of Spennymoor and West Auckland, but I think Darlington have a very good chance of being promoted.
“Certainly the aim at the club is to go up and up and try to get back into the Football League.”
Grieve, an office supervisor for a delivery firm on the Team Valley, added: “They are a good side who are good on the break and who are defensively strong.
“They have a solid foundation to go up with; it’s a great set up and they do everything properly.”
On Saturday, Grieve played at the heart of an Ashington defence which was on the receiving end of a 6-1 hiding.
He added: “All the talk during the week was that they saw us as being one of the teams who could cause an upset. They saw it as being a big game – but from my point of view, I didn’t think we worked hard enough.”