Dave Challinor discusses trialists at Hartlepool United including former Sheffield United and Leeds United midfielder

Hartlepool United have had several players in on trial over the past month with manager Dave Challinor looking at areas to strengthen in his squad.

Friday, 15th January 2021, 12:30 pm

Pools beat Sunderland under-23s 5-2 at The Academy of Light on Wednesday afternoon. Challinor named a side made up of players short of minutes which was subsidised by trialists.

Connor Leak-Blunt, formerly of Leeds United and Sheffield United, was one of two trialists to start the game for Hartlepool.

The 18-year-old midfielder got on the scoresheet along with Joe Grey, Luke Williams and Mason Bloomfield – who netted twice.

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Hartlepool United socks (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

A second trialist – which the club have requested to remain unnamed – started the match as a holding midfielder before slotting in as part of a back three.

The player will continue to train with Pools with the view of potentially agreeing a deal.

“We have a midfielder in who has been playing in Sweden,” Challinor told The Mail.

“He has played in this country before but he’s been playing in Sweden and he wanted to come in and train and it just so happened that we had a game so he was involved.

“He did well enough in the game both in midfield and then filling in for Lidds [Gary Liddle] once he went off. We’ll have him back training with us so we can make a decision around him.”

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Leak-Blunt has been training with Pools since December but it’s unlikely that the club will look to secure a deal with the midfielder.

Challinor admitted that he is currently assessing the out of contract teenager to see what level he’s capable of playing at in senior football with the view of helping him find a new club.

“We’ve had quite a few lads involved in training to be fair, we’ve had younger lads in who haven’t played a lot of football and have asked if they could come in and train with us,” Challinor explained.

“Those were the trialists who we played, they’re not experienced type players. The trialists are making up the numbers for us while also giving us the chance to have a look at them.”

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