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. Darren Campion  DARREN CAMPION :: DEFENCE
. @CampstaDarren
. BORN Birmingham
. DoB 17.10.1987
. HEIGHT 5ft 11"
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Popular left-sided player, at home in defence or midfield, who re-signed for the Pitmen in February 2017

A former trainee at Birmingham City, where he was a regular in their youth and reserve teams until the summer of 2007, when he was released after Blues' promotion to the Premier League. After unsuccessful trials at Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town during the summer months, he impressed whilst on trial at Carlisle United, with manager Gregg Abbott offering the teenager a contract until the end of the season

He made his debut as a substitute against AFC Bournemouth, and made one further appearance during the 2007-2008 campaign; he was also loaned out to Blue Square North neighbours Workington for a short spell mid-way through the season. His strong performances for the reserves saw him earn a short term deal for the following season

After two starts in the first half of the new season, he was released in January 2009 after controversially slating the City of Carlisle on a social networking site. He returned to football at semi-pro level the following season, moving back to the West Midlands to join Blue Square North side Solihull Moors. He spent six months at Damson Park before making the short move to struggling local rivals Redditch United, where he finished the 2009-2010 season

After leaving Redditch in the summer, he eventually made his way to Keys Park, where he had to be patient in earning his chance in the side as Louis Keenan and Aaron Gibson both played ahead of him. Gradually however, he worked his way into the reckoning, and became a fixture in the side as the New Year came around, becoming one of the club's most consistent and popular players with his marauding runs and wicked free kicks. Indeed, his superb free kick at Cambridge City was one of the goals of the season for Hednesford

In May 2011, he signed a new deal with he club to stay at Keys Park for the 2011-2012 season, and was rewarded for his excellent form with the captain's armband by boss Rob Smith. A consistent first half to the campaign gave way to a frustrating run of form in the New Year, as Campion's form mirrored the team's overall contribution. He was red-carded twice in three months, both for dissent, and received a four match ban towards the end of the season as punishment

Despite his end-of-season misdemeanors, Campion's ability and popularity saw him earn a new deal with the club for the 2012-2013 campaign, where the Darren Campion of 2010-2011 returned with aplomb. After regaining the captain's armband from Dave MacPherson, Campion's form at left back was superb for long spells in the season, forming an understanding with Nathan Woolfe in an attacking unit down that side of the pitch. After starting his 100th game for the Pitmen in April 2013, Campion had the honour of becoming the only Hednesford captain to pick up three pieces of silverware in one season, as the Pitmen lifted the Birmingham Senior Cup, Staffordshire Senior Cup and Evo-Stik Play-Off Winners trophy in quick succession

As expected, Campion signed a new contract with the club to remain at Keys Park for 2013-2014, where he was a consistent presence again at left back, skippering the team to a fourth successive season of play-off football as the club finished in an incredible fourth place in the Skrill North. Campion's form was recognised by the Football Conference with the player being named in the Skrill North's team of the year at the end of season awards in June 2014. A new contract was soon in the offing, with Campion signing up for another year at Keys Park in June 2014. He led the Pitmen to the brink of a play-off place once more, before falling away in the final month of the season in eighth place

In May 2015, his long association with the Pitmen ended with a move to league rivals Worcester City. After starting all five of Worcester's opening games in the Vanarama National League North, he had his contract cancelled by mutual consent and immediately pitched up at AFC Telford, linking up with his former Hednesford managers Rob Smith and Larry Chambers, who had just taken over the reins at Telford

His form at Telford was indicative of the team's overall form, as the Bucks struggled to shake off the spectre of relegation that eventually took Hednesford down. He agreed a new deal for the 2016-2017 season, but struggled for form and fitness and joined Evo-Stik Premier League side Sutton Coldfield Town on a dual registration deal in a bid to play games. By coincidence, his debut for the Royals was an away game against the Pitmen, which saw Campion limping off after 21 minutes after picking up an injury

His injury ended his spell at Sutton Coldfield, with Campion electing to end his deal at Telford in November 2016 as he looked to take a break from football to get back to full fitness. In January 2017, he played for the Pitmen in a behind closed doors game, scoring and proving his fitness to manager Paul Casey. He agreed a deal for a return to Keys Park in February 2017, ahead of the Pitmen's home game with Barwell at Keys Park

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TEAM FROM TO FEE PLD SUB GLS
. . Birmingham City 1.8.2006 31.5.2007 Trainee 0 0 0
. . Carlisle United 11.9.2007 13.1.2009 Free 3 1 0
. . Workington 17.12.2007 23.12.2007 Loan 1 0 0
. . Solihull Moors 12.10.2009 7.3.2010 Free N/A N/A N/A
. . Redditch United 7.3.2010 31.5.2010 Free 3 0 1
. . Hednesford Town 15.10.2010 19.5.2015 Free 180 12 7
    Worcester City 19.5.2015 28.8.2015 Free 5 0 0
    AFC Telford United 28.8.2015 21.11.2016 Free 40 3 0
    Sutton Coldfield Town 21.10.2016 21.11.2016 Dual Reg 1 0 0
    Hednesford Town 1.2.2017 Present Free N/A N/A N/A
. .  DARREN CAMPION CAREER TOTAL NIL 223 16 8

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