Dave Challinor admits Hartlepool United's summer recruitment has been 'tougher than we thought it would be'
Hartlepool United have experienced a challenging off season so far as they prepare for their League Two return on August 7.
Pools will play their first pre-season friendly at Runcorn Linnets this Saturday (3pm kick-off) and Challinor is hoping to take a squad of 22 players, including trialists, to the Millbank Linnets Stadium.
But it has been over three weeks since Hartlepool secured promotion and it’s less than a month until the League Two season gets underway and the club still have plenty of work to do.
“It’s been tougher than we thought it would be,” Challinor told The Mail. “We knew that it would be a challenging off season and that there would be a lot of interest in our players who had good seasons.”
Pools’ extended season as a result of promotion via the National League play-offs has left them playing catch-up on their League Two rivals.
And they have missed out on a number of potential targets as a result.
“We didn’t potentially envisage that players we would have been interested in, they were due in for pre-season training the day after we finished our season on June 20,” added the Hartlepool manager.
“Players were getting swallowed up in terms of recruitment so it’s been slow and I expect it to be fairly slow on the whole for the next couple of weeks to be honest.
“Having said that, it’s important we’ve got the players we have tied down in our squad. Hopefully there’s some more good news just around the corner.”