Hartlepool United's new signings motivated to revive '˜big club'

Craig Harrison says his five signings are highly motivated to get Hartlepool United out of the National League.

Friday, 16th June 2017, 6:59 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 2:21 pm
Hartlepool United manager Craig Harrison. Picture by FRANK REID

The Pools boss has made what seem, certainly on paper, to be good acquisitions.

All five come with good CVs and, just as importantly, with experience of the fifth tier of English football.

Harrison said he beat off competition from other clubs to land keeper Scott Loach, midfield hard man Luke George, attackers Jack Munns and Ryan Donaldson, and centre forward Jake Cassidy.

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Donaldson, who began his career at Newcastle United, has just helped Plymouth Argyle to promotion to League One.

“It has been a competitive business to get not just Ryan, but all the players we have signed so far,” Harrison told SportMail.

“There has been interest in all the lads, including from teams above.

“But it is testament to Hartlepool United, and how this club is seen, that these players wanted to come here.

“Hartlepool is viewed as a big club with fantastic supporters and great players and the lads who have come here want to do their utmost to get this big club back where it belongs.”

The squad will come together for the first time on Monday, June 26 when they report for pre-season training.

Harrison intends to utilise the loan market and it is also worth pointing out that the transfer window does NOT apply in the National League.

The former TNS boss could, conceivably, make signings whenever he chooses.

But Harrison’s preference is to have the bulk of his squad in place in two Mondays time – he wants to give the group as much time as possible to bond ahead of the start of the programme on August 5.

“I am hoping in the next week or so we’ll get one or two more in,” he said.

Harrison is hoping to make progress with the club’s two out-of-contract players, Brad Walker and Rhys Oates.

The midfielder-turned-defender and forward battler have rejected the new terms they have been offered.

But the boss hopes he will persuade the to put pen to paper, just as he did with defender Carl Magnay this week, though he hinted that he will not wait forever for the duo.

“I’d like to get all the business done before we start pre-season training,” said the 39-year-old, who joined Pools from TNS last month.

“If not there might be some tough decisions need making.

“But we want people who want to be at the club and it’s important we are all on the same path.”