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Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Thursday, 6 January 2011

Darlington face battle to sign Marc Bridge-Wilkinson

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson
Bridge-Wilkinson scored three goals in nine games at Darlington

Darlington boss Mark Cooper has admitted the club faces competition to sign Carlisle United midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson on a permanent basis.

Bridge-Wilkinson, 31, played the final match of Quakers loan spell in Monday's 3-1 win against Barrow but has now returned to his parent club.

"We're speaking to him and his agent," Cooper told BBC Tees.

"He's a League One player, people have been watching him play and he won't have done himself any harm."

Cooper added: "The chance we have is that he doesn't live a million miles away from here, he's playing every week and maybe we can give him a bit of security."

Meanwhile Darlington have been able to complete the permanent signing of Liam Hatch from Peterborough United.

The 28-year-old is in his third spell with the club and has been a regular in Cooper's side this season with four goals in 21 appearances.

It was down to the player, the player wanting to stay, he sacrificed 12 months of a deal and a lot more money than we could afford to pay him

Quakers boss Mark Cooper on signing Liam Hatch

"He was all set to go to another club I believe on a two-and-a-half year deal and he rang me on the morning to say he didn't want to go and wanted to stay here, asked if there was anything I could do," Cooper revealed.

"He was prepared to sacrifice a year, and sign an 18-month deal, and that was music to the chairman's ears, that there was someone wanting to give up that and actually play for the football club and that was when we acted.

"It was down to the player, the player wanting to stay, he sacrificed 12 months of a deal and a lot more money than we could afford to pay him."

Cooper also revealed that striker Jefferson Louis has returned to Blue Square Bet North side Gainsborough Trinity after a three-month loan stay.



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