Dave Challinor’s great response when asked about England’s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia following Hartlepool United's play-off semi-final at Stockport County

It could be some day of football if you’re a Hartlepool United fan.

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 4:45 pm

At noon on Sunday, Pools kick-off their National League play-off semi-final match at Stockport County – comfortably the club’s most important game since dropping to the fifth tier in 2017.

Then at 2pm, there’s the small matter of England’s Euro 2020 opening game against Croatia at Wembley Stadium.

It’s a tight turnaround for anyone wishing to catch both matches, particularly if Pools’ game goes to extra-time.

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Dave Challinor following Hartlepool United's 3-2 win over Bromley at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID
Dave Challinor following Hartlepool United's 3-2 win over Bromley at Victoria Park. Picture by FRANK REID

But manager Dave Challinor knows exactly where his and Hartlepool fans’ priorities lie.

“If it goes to extra-time and we win I'm not bothered, it can take as long as it wants!” Challinor laughed. “The England game definitely plays second fiddle from our perspective as I'm sure it will for all the Hartlepool fans as well.”

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And Challinor is hoping Pools fans will have plenty to celebrate come Sunday evening.

“You have to enjoy the moments because we’re still living in a time of uncertainty,” he added.

“We thought we were getting through things then all of a sudden there’s another block put in the way so you have to enjoy it while you can.

"Sunday is a great day for supporters and we hope for Hartlepool fans that we make it a great day and we can progress and they can sit back and enjoy the England game, have a few beers on a lovely afternoon and have a great day.

"For us, we hope to give ourselves another opportunity to play this season obviously with a huge prize at the end of that game.”

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