Dave Challinor assesses Hartlepool United’s ‘bottom heavy’ coaching staff following appointment of former QPR, Stoke City and Rangers defender Clint Hill

Dave Challinor has brought in his former defensive partner Clint Hill onto Hartlepool United’s coaching team – but what impact will it have?

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 12:30 pm

During his playing days, Hill had a reputation as a no-nonsense defender – not too dissimilar from Challinor – and played at the very top in the Premier League with Queens Park Rangers.

Hill’s appointment, while a welcome one, does give Pools a very ‘bottom heavy’ coaching staff in terms of playing experience. Pools legends Dimi Konstantopoulos, a goalkeeper, and Antony Sweeney, a midfielder, make up Challinor’s coaching team.

The Pools boss previously contemplated bringing in an ex-forward player that would ‘tick a box’ and be able to work naturally with the squad’s strikers who have been goal-shy so far this season.

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Clint Hill of Hartlepool United during the Sky Bet League 2 match between Hartlepool United and Northampton Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 9th October 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But Challinor feels the qualities Hill brings to the table outweigh the benefits of having a dedicated striking coach.

“Anyway Sweens is a great finisher, he scored loads of goals!" Challinor responded when questioned on the matter.

“It’s tough because you can look at things and consider bringing in an ex forward player as a coach. You look to try and pad out your coaching team and balance it in certain ways.

"Sometimes things don’t work like that and the important thing for me is more around characters and the mentality of what people want to do.”

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Pools have operated without a forward player on the club’s coaching staff since Craig Hignett’s departure as manager almost exactly two years ago.

Despite a few problems up front, the side have generally managed fairly well since then having secured promotion back to the Football League last season.

"Without question, Clint’s experience will be massive even though perhaps the ideal situation would be to have a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and a forward making up your coaching team to cover all bases,” Challinor added. That would have given us the opportunity to split of as a group and work on things.

"But we were all strikers to start with anyway, you start as a striker and work your way back if you’re not very good!

"We’ve all got ideas of what the forward players are supposed to do, we just couldn’t do it ourselves to the right level of performance.”

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