Dave Challinor explains why Kenton Richardson and Josh Hawkes have not agreed new deals at Hartlepool United with reported interest from Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Burnley and Sheffield United

Dave Challinor has explained why Josh Hawkes and Kenton Richardson are set to leave Hartlepool United after failing to agree reengagement terms.

Sunday, 28th June 2020, 8:00 am
Kenton Richardson and Josh Hawkes have both progressed into the first team from the club's youth system.

Richardson and Hawkes were offered terms of reengagement last month alongside fellow under-24 youth team graduate Aaron Cunningham.

And the Pools boss explained his thoughts on why the players have not agreed new terms at the club.

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“Kenton and Josh Hawkes will leave the club,” Challinor told The Mail.

“The situation with Kenton is he wants to go somewhere where he can play every week, that’s important to him.

“He needs to get a full season under his belt and I think he felt that probably wouldn’t be the case with us moving forward, which I understand.

“Hawkesy has been told there are other avenues for him to explore. If he moves elsewhere then there will be compensation involved and we will get a fee.”

Richardson and Hawkes both graduated from Pools’ youth set-up to sign their first professional contracts at the club back in March 2017.

After being released from Middlesbrough’s academy at age 14, Richardson joined Hartlepool and made his first-team debut at 17 in a 4-0 League Two defeat at Mansfield Town. The 20-year-old full-back went on to make 53 appearances for the club over four seasons.

Hawkes also arrived from Middlesbrough as a scholar and made his Hartlepool debut a matter of weeks after Richardson in a 4-0 win against Crewe Alexandra. Since February 2017, the 21-year-old midfielder has netted 13 goals in 68 appearances for Pools.

The pair had to endure frustrating 2019-20 seasons with respective injury issues leaving them unable to establish consistent starting places in the first team.

Last week, Hawkes was linked with a number of EFL clubs including Burnley, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. TEAMTalk also reported that Portuguese giants Sporting Braga were on the verge of offering the 21-year-old a chance to prove himself on the continent.