Devante Rodney set for Hartlepool United return

Devante RodneyDevante Rodney
Devante Rodney
Devante Rodney is set for his first Hartlepool United action of pre-season.

The striker, whose two goals inside 10 minutes against Doncaster Rovers almost kept Pools in the Football League, has not been seen in a football kit since that dramatic final day of last season.

But that could all change this weekend, when Pools play their final two friendlies.

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Pools take on Middlesbrough U23 tonight at Victoria Park (kick-off 7.30pm) before visiting Whitley Bay tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Rodney has struggled to shake off a hip problem but has trained this week at Maiden Castle and boss Craig Harrison will look to get some game-time in the 19-year-old.

The Manchester-born forward will be used off the bench either at the Vic or at Hillheads tomorrow.

Fellow forward Rhys Oates will miss out with a groin strain but defender Liam Donnelly should return after being rule out of the friendly at St Johnstone with a dead leg.

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Harrison is likely to mix the sides he sends out over the next 24 hours.

The Pools boss will be looking to get 90 minutes into as many players as possible, while also taking a lengthy look at the trialists he currently has at the club.

All four, keeper Matt Gould, centre-half Kosovar Sadiki, defender James Risborough and winger Junior Mondal, are likely to get a start at either venue.

Gould, the son of ex-Celtic keeper Jonathan and grandson of FA Cup-winning boss Bobby, has been on the books at Cheltenham, Livingston, Stenhousemuir and Stourbridge.

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The 23-year-old made a good save late on against the Saints during a spot on pinball in the Pools box.

Born in Germany but raised in Canada, Sadiki was most recently at Stoke City where he played for the youth team.

The 19-year-old, a Canada U23 defender, came on in the second half at St Johnstone, where he played alongside Scott Haiison at the heart of the defence.

Risborough, from Stockton, has returned home following spells in the Swedish League.

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The 24-year-old ex-Spennymoor defender has played at centre-half and left-back for Pools at Harrogate and St Johnstone, looking steady on both occasions.

Mondal has played and scored during his pre-season excursions for Pools.

The Teessider, released by Boro, for whom he played for the club’s U23 team, converted a penalty after being brought down in the box in the 7-0 win at Dunston UTS.

Pools have cut the prices for this evening’s friendly with charging £5 (adults) and £3 (O60, U19 and students).

Tickets will be available to Pools fans on the turnstiles prior to kick-off at Whitley Bay, with prices set at £4 (adults) and £2 (concessions).