Great start important to Hartlepool United

Jack Munns on the attack for Cheltenham Town at Victoria Park.  Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Munns on the attack for Cheltenham Town at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

Jack Munns says a good pre-season will be one of the key factors to Hartlepool United being a success.

The gifted attacking player, one of five new signings brought in by manager Craig Harrison, says Pools need to get off to a flying start.

Hopefully we can get together fast, on and off the pitch – that would be massive in terms of results

JACK MUNNS

Pools, old and new, will meet up for the first time as a group on Monday, when they commence pre-season training.

Harrison told SportMail that he wants “95%” of his National League squad in place by next week as he looks to push through at least one more signing.

Pools will have a week and a half on the training grounds in Durham before embarking on their first friendly, a trip to Billlingham Town on Thursday, July 6.

After visiting another Ebac Northern League outfit in Dunston UTS on Wednesday, July 12, they have added a Saturday journey to Harrogate Town on July 15.

The other games are Blyth (a) on Tuesday, July 18, Wigan (h), on Tuesday, July 25, before playing two matches on July 29, Whitley Bay (a) and Middlesbrough (h).

Munns, a star of Cheltenham’s promotion to the EFL in 2016 when the Robins bounced back from the National League at the first time of asking, says the pre-season period is so important to Pools.

“Team spirit is vital so hopefully we can get together quickly,” said the 23-year-old.

“The gaffer has not messed about in terms of bringing in players.

“Hopefully we can get together fast, on and off the pitch. That would be massive in terms of results.

“A good start is vital if you can get up there straight away.

“The first month will be massive – pre-season and team spirit will be key and we must make sure we get off to the best possible start.”

Munns says he had no issues about the distance he’s travelled to take up his new challenge.

The forward, who prefers the number 10 role but can play out wide too, has never operated north of London before in his career.

“I’ve lived away from home since I was 16. It’s part and parcel of football,” said the Eastender, who has played for Spurs, Charlton, Aldershot and Cheltenham.

“When I knew Hartlepool were interested, I was up for it.

“As soon as you join a new club, you can’t wait to get started, you just want to get out there and show what you can do.”

Munns has played at the Vic before with the Robins and was an unused sub when Town beat Pools 1-0 on the penultimate Saturday of the campaign.

It was a result which sealed Cheltenaham’s safety but the stand-out memory he had was of the noticeable bond between the Pools and the away fans.

“I remember Hartlepool coming to Cheltenham for the second last game of the season,” he said in an interview with www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk.

“Cheltenham won on the day, but I remember the moment Hartlepool’s players went over to their fans.

“If we can get this place rocking it’s only going to help.

“If clubs are coming here with our fans in great voice they are going to find it hard.”