Penney linked with move away from Quakers
Dave Penney has been linked with the managerial posts at Barnsley, Bradford and Stockport County recently though the Darlo boss has stated that he is concentrating on the Quakers next 3 games.
Penney has a good record at Darlington since his arrival in the 2006/7 season. Quakers were struggling in the bottom half of the table when Penney was handed control however the former Doncaster Rovers boss was quick to make a number of changes to the Darlo squad which helped Darlington pull away from any relegation fears. Experienced players such as Ricky Ravenhill and Gregg Blundell were brought into the club and they both have had relatively successful spells in the north east with the Quakers.
Last season was Penney`s most disappointing with the club as Darlington reportedly had the largest playing budget in the division however Quakers did not manage to achieve promotion despite having quality experienced players such as Julian Joachim, Steve Foster, Micky Cummins and Alan White in their squad. A high number of injuries late in the campaign limited Darlo`s attacking options which saw Quakers drop out of automatic promotion contention and then to a Play Off semi final defeat against Rochdale.
Darlington slashed their budget in the summer of 2008 though the Quakers management team of Martin Gray and Dave Penney still managed to assemble a squad who looked as though they would have at least achieved a Play Off place if the Football League had not imposed a 10 point penalty on the side. Penney has also shown he can use the loan system astutely with signings such as Billy Clarke and Liam Hatch and it is no surprise that other clubs in the lower divisions have been alerted to the good job he is doing under difficult circumstances for Darlington at the Arena.
If a side from a higher league came in for Dave Penney I imagine it would be very hard for him to turn down the opportunity given the uncertainty surrounding Darlington`s FC mere future. If Penney were to leave I do not feel we would be able to get such an experienced man at the helm, an up and coming coach/manager such as Martin Gray could get the chance to take over the managerial reigns.