How Pools boss aims to attract hottest prospects from Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland

Garry Monk
Garry Monk

Craig Harrison plans to speak to the North East’s Big Three over the next 10 days as he looks to bring a couple of loan signings into his Hartlepool United squad.

The Pools boss has already made six signings as he begins the task of constructing a squad capable of bouncing back into the Football League at the first attempt.

He plans on adding at least one more permanent signing to his ranks, but will also look to bolster his numbers with some youngsters from the region.

And Harrison hopes conversations with Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle over the next week will put him in pole position to snap up some of the hottest youth prospects in the North East.

In particular, he hopes his friendship with new Boro boss Garry Monk, who he knows from coaching courses and their time together in Wales, will bear fruit.

“I’ve had a couple of text conversations with him,” said Harrison.

“I know what it was like when I first came in, I’m just giving him two or three weeks to bed in.

“He’s obviously got a huge job to do. It’s more of a key time for him than it was for me, as I had four weeks before pre-season starts and he’s only had two weeks before pre-season starts, so hopefully, over the next week or 10 days, I’ll get the opportunity to go and see Gaz and have a chat with him.

“But we’d like to do that with the other clubs as well.

“Sunderland, we’d like to go in there and speak to them as we’d like to utilise as much of their talent as we can.

“There’s lots of very good players out there who have just not got enough adult football, senior football, at Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

“So I’d like to start build a relationship up. Hopefully this week we’ll go in and speak to Sunderland, and I’ve already spoken to Joe Joyce at Newcastle and we’re just waiting for their staff to get back from holiday so we can get around a table and have a chat.”

Pools haven’t fared well with loan signings from their neighbours in recent years.

Last season, keeper Joe Fryer was a success after joining from Middlesbrough, but Brad Fewster (Boro), Andrew Nelson (Sunderland) and Tom Heardman (Newcastle) failed to shine.