The former Hereford boss had a miserable record against his new club as a player and a manager over the years.
He says he’s seen for himself the passion in the North East and didn’t think twice about replacing Alun Armstrong at Blackwell Meadows.
But he’s got a big job ahead of him with the club sitting bottom of the National League North and his first game is a huge one - a 24th vs 23rd clash as they take on Gloucester City, who last night re-appoint Mike Cook.
Danny Rose will return to the Quakers as assistant manager and Gowling says the focus is getting only their second win on the board as soon as possible and away from the early stragglers.
“You look at the passion the fans have here, the money they raise, why would you not want to be a part of that?” he said.
“What’s not to like? I’ve been here a few times and never won, so it’s a case of ‘can’t beat em, join em!” Whenever I played on managed here the noise was fantastic, I can’t wait to meet them. I’m proud to be their manager but I know I have to earn their respect.
“I know a lot of the squad, I’ve tried to sign a few over the years. I know some things haven’t been right on the pitch so we’ll try and address that - first and foremost we need to get off the bottom of the table.
“I have no doubts about their attitude. I expect high standards. I have different ways of doing things, but you can see how the players have acted when there’s not been a manager that there’s some good senior pros here.
“I took over Hereford when we were one win in 22 games. I’ve been in this situation before,” he told the club’s video player. "Speaking to the chairman you know there’s a vision here for the future."
Chief Executive Officer David Johnston explained why the former Kidderminster defender was selected.
“I was extremely impressed by Josh when I met him last Sunday, and I could understand why he had been recommended for the job by several people,” he said.
“He seems a perfect fit for us, in terms of his playing philosophy, his coaching methods, his standards, his interaction with fans and his involvement with the local community and academy.
“Everybody is eagerly looking forward to working with him and we are confident that our fortunes will start to improve under him. I would urge all Darlington fans to support him as much as possible, beginning with the big game on Saturday against Gloucester.”