Ex-Wolves, Tranmere striker to revive career a Hartlepool United

Jake Cassidy hopes being re-United with first boss, Craig Harrison, will revive his career.

Monday, 12th June 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 2:47 pm
Jake Cassidy powers in a goal for Guiseley against Torquay last season. Picture Tony Johnson.

The 24-year-old became the new Hartlepool United manager’s first signing on a hectic day of business at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Cassidy was snapped up by the 39-year-old after the striker spent a season in the National League with Guiseley, scoring eight times.

SportMail reported on Saturday how Harrison admitted the strong forward was a player he always intended to “go full pelt to get in.”

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The new chief regards Cassidy highly and the feeling is clearly mutual.

Capped eight times by Wales U21, the Conwy-born frontman’s career was launched by Harrison, who took him from local football in Llandudno to Airbus UK, where he was manager at the time.

Cassidy’s stay with ‘Harra’ in the Welsh Premier League was shortlived to say the least as Wolves came along and took him to the Championship.

But the relationship, however brief, has clearly strong foundations as the player explained.

“Once I knew Hartlepool were interested in me, I couldn’t wait to sign,” he said.

“Craig brought me out of the Sunday League to Airbus UK in 2010 and obviously gave me my chance to perform at that level and helped me massively to get a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I can’t thank him enough for that and I hope I can kick on again with him and enjoy my football once again.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind [at Airbus], I went in for pre-season and had seven games I think it was and went to Wolves.”

If you remember Cassidy, it will be from his time at Tranmere – under Ronnie Moore no less – where he banged in 11 goals in half a season in League One.

Thereafter, it’s been a litle hit and miss with loan stints at Tranmere (again), Notts County and Southend before a switch to Oldham.

But a broken leg while with the Latics put a big cloud over his career, though he is now back, having proven his fitness last season across the Pennines at Guiseley.

“I’ve had a few bad years, bad spells, but obviously I got back to playing football last season and enjoying it again,” he said in an interview with www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk.

“It was massive.

“I broke my leg [at Oldham] and I never fully recovered and my confidence was hit.

“The Guiseley move was really good for me, to get me back playing again and get my fitness up and most importantly getting goals again which I enjoyed doing.”

Cassidy is confident Harrison will get the best out of him and says the appointment of the ex-TNS boss has been an inspired one by the new National League club, who are looking to bounce back into the EFL at the first time of asking.

“I like to think I’m a hard-working player, who puts himself about,” he said.

“With the right coaching from Craig I can get that extra bit of quality and hopefully get a lot of goals, excite the fans and play well for the team.

“Everyone should be excited by the appointment of Craig.

“Relegation was obviously disappointing – I’ve been relegated before and it’s not the best situation when you come in for the next season.

“But from what I’ve seen and what I’ve read, it’s a real upbeat place to be.

“Hopefully we can get a really good squad together and challenge for the league.”

Harrison has already begun the process, having signed Cassidy, midfielder Luke George, attacker Jack Munns and keeper Scott Loach – all on Friday.

The former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender will be looking to add more, possibly this week, but his first signing already looks like being a significant one.