Dave Challinor outlines the importance of extending Gary Liddle's Hartlepool United career
Gary Liddle will be at the heart of the Hartlepool United defence again next season after signing a new one-year deal to stay at The Vic and Dave Challinor believes his experience is ‘massive’.
Pools are busy getting their squad together ahead of their return to League Two following promotion from the National League, with Liddle among the players to commit their futures to the club.
Nicky Featherstone, Jamie Sterry and Ben Killip among the other players to extend their stays in the North East.
And Challinor has given an insight into his early planning for next season and the key role Liddle will once again play.
Challinor said: “We wouldn’t have done the deal if we didn’t think he still had a lot to offer us even at a higher level.
"Lidds has played in the Football League for virtually his entire career and his experience is massive.
"Even with him at the age he is, we know what his strengths are and what his weaknesses are.
"We played with a system last season that certainly brought out the best in his game so that’s something we’ll look to replicate next year.
"We’ll bring in players who can not only play alongside and around him but are going to allow us to get the best out of him in and out of possession.”
On signing his deal last week, Liddle said: “Being in the football league is all I’ve known this football club to be, it’s had difficult times over the years since, so to get the chance to play and represent Hartlepool again in League Two is an opportunity I’m grateful to the manager and his staff for.
"Especially when I know the likelihood is we’ll have a huge amount of brilliant support back in the stadium to play in front of and I can’t wait for it to begin.”
Liddle made his second spell for Pools permanent at the beginning of last season after enjoying a short loan spell from Walsall.
Liddle also celebrated making his 750th senior career appearance and captaining Hartlepool United for the very first time.