Pools hand trial to Crawley Town striker Richard Brodie

Morecambe v Barnet'Richard Brodie celebrates after scoring his first penalty against Barnet.

Morecambe v Barnet'Richard Brodie celebrates after scoring his first penalty against Barnet.

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HARTLEPOOL United are already looking to next season in League Two having handed a trial to striker Richard Brodie.

The 25-year-old Geordie – a player who cost Crawley Town £275,000 three years ago – is out of contract with The Reds this summer and has been told he can leave the club.

Brodie is free to discuss terms with other clubs and he has been training at Maiden Castle this week.

SportMail understands the former York City frontman is keen to return to the North-East and would favour a move to Victoria Park.

However, there is also interest from League Two York as well as Conference outfit Stockport County, now under the care of ex-Gateshead boss Ian Bogie.

Brodie - a tall, pacey forward with a sweet left foot - was first spotted by The Minstermen when playing for Newcastle Benfield during an FA Cup tie in 2006.

Having scored 53 league goals at Bootham Crescent in three seasons he was snapped up by Crawley for more than a quarter-of-a-million pounds.

Brodie helped them achieve promotion to League Two but has fallen out of favour in recent seasons, prompting loan moves to Fleetwood Town, Morecambe and Grimsby Town.

Just last month he missed the decisive spot-kick for The Mariners in the final of the Football League Trophy at Wembley as they were beaten in a shootout by Wrexham.

Pools boss John Hughes is likely to run the rule over several players in the coming weeks as plans are put in place for next year in the bottom tier.

Indeed, Pools have also handed a trial to former Newcastle United reserve-team midfielder Mark Doninger.

He has been plying his trade in Iceland but is now back in the North-East and hoping to win a deal with a Football League club.

The 23-year-old came through the ranks with his hometown club and had an impressive scoring record for their junior and reserve teams.