Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison to keep goal ace Padraig Amond

Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.
Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison.

Padraig Amond will not be leaving Hartlepool United – or not on the cheap anyway.

That was the blunt message from boss Craig Harrison who is determined to hang on to their leading marksman.

It’s business sense that if we haven’t got a good enough replacement then we don’t let the player go

CRAIG HARRISON

Pools have already off-loaded their joint second top scorers from last season after selling Nathan Thomas to Sheffield United with Lewis Alessandra joining Notts County.

Amond is known to be not keen on spending another season outside the Football League, having had a year with Grimsby who he fired to promotion with 37 goals in 2015-16.

However, Harrison intends to retain the services of the ace scorer – unless the offer is too good to turn down.

“I’ve had a good four to five conversations with Podge and twice face to face,” said the boss.

“I’m going to do everything to keep him – the club too.

“If we get an offer then that’s something we’ll have to look at, but is the offer good enough to replace him with the same quality?

“It’s commonsense, it’s business sense that if we haven’t got a good enough replacement then we don’t let the player go.

“That’s the way it is and that won’t change, Podge has a year left on his contract.

“I’ll be doing everything as a manager to keep hold of him.”

Harrison scoffed at talk that National League promotion favourites Tranmere were in pursuit of the Irishman, who bagged 14 goals in his debut season at Victoria Park.

The new boss said he would like to see the 29-year-old fire Pools to glory rather than Rovers, who finished second last season and missed out in the play-offs.

So would Pools ever sell to a direct rival?

“Ideally not,” smiled Harrison.

“We’re in control [of the situation], he has a year left on his contract.

“I’ve had good conversations with him and I don’t want to speak for the lad.

“But why wouldn’t you want the chance of getting Hartlepool back in the Football League than Tranmere?

“That would be my thoughts.”

Harrison’s main priority this week is to get the signature of Brad Walker on the dotted line.

The midfielder-turned-defender is the last of the three out-of-contract players to be holding out.

Carl Magnay and Rhys Oates have both agreed terms and Harrison hopes the 21-year-old will follow suit.

“Things are on-going regarding Brad, where he’s at, where he wants to be, where we want him to be,” said Harrison.

“There’s no bones about it, I this done and dusted as soon as possible.

“It will be another positive for us to have Brad signed.

“He’s a local lad who has played a lot of games for this football club.

“Brad’s got a lot of experience for such a young lad, he’ll add quality to our squad.”