Hartlepool coach relishing Darlington test

Ebby Nelson-Addy
Ebby Nelson-Addy

Coach Ian McGuckin is looking forward to seeing how Hartlepool United’s young players cope with their Durham Challenge Cup test tomorrow night.

McGuckin will join Youth Development manager John Hewitson in the dug out for two Pools reserves games in two days.

We’re looking to get some momentum.

Pools follow this afternoon’s league match with Notts County at Bedford Terrace (kick-off 1pm) with a county cup tie at Darlington Railway Athletic (7.30pm).

Ebby Nelson-Addy and Kieran Green look like being the only players with senior experience to line up against the Ebac Northern League side at Brinkburn Road.

Former Pools skipper McGuckin, who will be assisting Hewitson this season, said the duo are looking to see the reserves carry on from where they left off at Scunthorpe a week ago.

“We’re looking to get some momentum,” said McGucklin.

“We’re going to have to mix the team with us playing twice in two days and we’ll look to get the balance right.

“The personnel will have to change a bit but we want to build on last week’s performance.

“The cup game is a little bit of a different challenge to what we are used to in the reserve league.

“How our players approach the game and perform well us a lot about the character of the players.

“It’s always a test against a non-league club, they always pull out the stops to try to beat the league club.”

Darlington RA have made a cracking start in the Second Division, losing only two of their first 10 matches.

“We’re expecting a tough fixture and good work-out but I hope we can get through to the next round,” said McGuckin.

“We’ll be preparing properly, the same way as we would whoever we are playing.”

Success along the A66 would not only give the players a boost of confidence, it would provide more game-time for the young squad.

“There aren’t enough fixtures in reserve football,” added the 43-year-old who coaches the club’s academy talent. “If we progress, it would generate more games, which would be great for us.”