A TOWN footballer is set for a fresh start after a challenging season with crisis club Darlington by upping sticks and moving down under.
Paul Arnison, 34, has made more than 300 league appearances in the English game including spells with Hartlepool United and current club Darlington.
But after enduring a tough year with Darlington, who entered administration for the third time before being saved from liquidation at the eleventh hour, Paul is now hoping to continue his career in Australia and work towards achieving his coaching badges.
Paul and wife, Amanda, 33, a nurse practitioner, did think about moving down under around five years ago, but decided against it at the time as Paul felt he still had plenty to offer in his football career in England.
The dad of Harry, 10, and Alfie, six, still feels he has at least two years of playing left in him but is opting for a fresh challenge as he seeks to find a club in Australia.
Paul has already been in contact with former Leeds United and Sunderland striker Michael Bridges who moved to Australia to the Newcastle Jets in 2009 and has sent his CV to clubs in the three tiers of the Australian football league.
“We just thought with what has gone on at Darlo, why not?,” said Paul, who lives in Granville Avenue, in Hartlepool.
“It’s not necessarily a case of me wanting to go over there and play in the big league, I would be happy playing part time and doing some coaching.
“I spoke to Michael Bridges and sent him my CV and a few other contacts out there and now I’ll just wait and see what comes of it.”
Paul says the timing of the move in the coming months would be ideal as Harry is due to start secondary school this year.
“The lads are asking me if they will make friends out there and I said we will all have to try and make friends.
“They are both sport mad and the Aussies absolutely love their sport.
“We can go and give it a year or so and if we don’t like it we can come back and just treat it as an extended holiday.
“But once we settle in I’m pretty sure the boys will love it.”