Hartlepool snub chance to sign two triallists – but third could make grade

Alex Whittle in action for Hartlepool United during their 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe United
Alex Whittle in action for Hartlepool United during their 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe United

Hartlepool United WON’T be signing Fergus Bell or Johnny Giles.

The triallists had both spent time training with Pools and featured in pre-season friendlies against non-league opposition.

Alex came on and he has done well. He got stuck in and I was pleased with him, he did OK.

Ronnie Moore

But both midfielders have been told they don’t have a future at the League Two club, although manager Ronnie Moore is allowing them to continue training to build their fitness.

One triallist who could yet earn a deal is ex-Dunfermline Athletic wing-back Alex Whittle, who played 15 minutes in last night’s 4-0 friendly defeat to Scunthorpe United and impressed with bursting runs.

The 22-year-old Scouser left the Scottish side in the summer and has been recommended to Moore.

Moore wants to see him in action again away to Gateshead on Saturday, the club’s next friendly outing ahead of the new season on August 8.

“Alex came on and he has done well,” said Moore.

“He got stuck in and I was pleased with him, he did OK.

“He will be involved again on Saturday so we can have a further look.

“Alex will play some part against Gateshead.

“Whether he starts or not, I’m not sure yet.”

Moore has called on his other first team squad members to take a leaf out of Whittle’s book, given their lacklustre display in the defeat to League One Iron.

“It is all right playing well in training, you need to bring it to the big stage,” added Moore.

“It is no good one or two having stage fright.

“Alex came on late but he was running around and making tackles.

“And looked like he wanted to play. He is playing for a contract, the others have them.

“One or two are in their comfort zones but they won’t be for long.”

Bell, 24, and Giles won’t get a contract though, Moore has confirmed.

He added: “The other triallists have gone but they are welcome to train with us to boost their fitness levels.

“Bell was very similar to the players we already had here.

“He needs to be better than that, we couldn’t do a deal.

“Johnny Giles has great ability but wouldn’t fit in the system we are playing.”