ON THE MOVE: Harvey Saunders has signed for League One Fleetwood Town
ON THE MOVE: Harvey Saunders has signed for League One Fleetwood Town

DARLINGTON FC striker Harvey Saunders has signed for League One side Fleetwood Town.

The 21-year-old, from Staindrop, has impressed this season, scoring seven goals and bringing his total for Darlington to 11 in 25 starts and 45 appearances as a substitute.

He penned a two-and-a-half year deal with Fleetwood, but will stay on loan at National League North Darlington until the end of the season.

Fleetwood will be Harvey's first club outside County Durham. He joined Darlington from Durham City in January 2017.

He said he was over the moon to sign for Fleetwood – and get the chance to complete the season with Darlington.

“It’s come so fast. I’m very excited to have joined such a fantastic football club,” said Harvey.

“It’s not sunk in really. It really is amazing what they’ve got here (at Fleetwood). I think it’s the best place I could possibly come to develop myself as well.”

He added: “I get to finish off the season with Darlington, the club I’ve been with for a couple of years now, and I’m very thankful for everyone there for what they’ve done to help progress me to this point.

“Then obviously I can kick on here and really progress. It’s been a dream ever since I can remember but I never actually thought it would come to this point now.”

Darlington manager Tommy Wright said: “Harvey has improved immensely this season and he’s proved that he’s ready to make that step up to Football League level.

“Not only does he score goals, but he does a lot of positive things that people don’t see.

“He is eager to learn, and he takes everything on board.

“I’m sure that he’ll continue to improve and be a big success at Fleetwood.”

Harvey is following in the footsteps of Jamie Vardy, who played non-league football for Fleetwood before going on to star for Premier League Leicester City and England, and is well aware of the history Fleetwood has for improving talent from the lower divisions.

“In the past, obviously Vardy’s been here. People have done it from the non-leagues and progressed through and I think this is the best club for it.

“This is the club where, you think of Fleetwood and you think of Vardy coming through and he is the best example of what you can achieve.”

Fleetwood currently sit tenth in League One, 12 points of a play-off place.

Darlington, 13th in National League North, welcome Spennymoor Town to Blackwell Meadows on Saturday.