Experience key for Pools future as Matthew Bates talks up impact of skipper Carl Magnay
Matthew Bates knows adding experience to Hartlepool United's ranks is key for the future - whether he gets the job or not.
Bates is one of a number of candidates for the Victoria Park gig full-time, having impressed in his first real caretaker role with limited resources.
The club hinted in a statement last week that they would be starting the interview process for the role in due course and it is understood the Pools hierarchy are keen to get the ball rolling, as not to stall in what looks set to be the busiest summer in recent memory.
Restructuring of working practice, infrastructure and personnel needs to be implemented off the park as well as big changes likely to be made to the playing staff, whether that be by Bates or a new manager.
On the park, though, Bates is certain that bringing some experienced heads on board is the only course of action to make Pools a force in the National League.
“This club needs experienced players who have been there and done it,” said caretaker Bates, who takes the team to Tranmere on Saturday for the final day of the fifth tier, with Pools safe from the threat of yet another embarrassing drop.
“When you look at the average ages of the players here you can see we need to add some more experienced players.”
As well as bringing in new bodies, Bates thinks Pools need to look after the invaluable experience they already possess within the dressing room.
A number of the club’s more experienced players are out of contract at the end of the season, with top-scorer Michael Woods almost certain to depart with a number of Football League club’s circling for the former Chelsea man.
Key defender Liam Donnelly is also likely to be off to pastures new, so to Devante Rodney, both of whom would command a development fee.
A number of others have options on their deals triggered by either appearances or the will of either the club or the player.
One player Bates thinks is crucial moving forward is Carl Magnay.
“The experienced players at this squad will also have a part to play moving forward,” he said.
“Magnay has played right back for most of his time at this club but he has been a revelation at centre back at the end of this campaign.
“He’s a talker. Our goals conceded ratio has gone down since he has switched to centre half and that is absolutely no coincidence.
“That is where I think he is better.”