Hartlepool players make early return to training
Luke James and a selection of Hartlepool United players have returned to the training pitch to work on their fitness ahead of pre-season.
James was joined by Adam Bale, Ryan Donaldson, Nicky Featherstone, Liam Noble and new signing Michael Raynes as well as several members of the Pools’ youth team at East Durham College.
Jon Whitney and Antony Sweeney took charge of the session with Craig Hignett due to return with the rest of the Pools squad for full pre-season training next week.
“We’re just getting in, getting the legs going again then we start next Thursday so can’t wait to get going,” James told the club website.
“It will be good to see the rest of the lads on Thursday as well, but most of the lads are just chomping at the bit to get going.
“I’ve obviously been trying to do as much fitness work as I can to get going for next season because I think we’ll be getting put through our paces in the next couple of weeks definitely.”
The early pre-season preparations are also something James feels will stand Hartlepool in good stead when the matches come around.
And the England C international went on to name the two sides he would rather get out of the way early on in the fixture calendar.
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“When you’ve got a plan you can always go for it straight away, there is no waiting around,” the 24-year-old continued.
“You know what your focus is straight away and you know what your focus is on the day and in the weeks ahead so it’s all good planning.
“We can start (planning for next season) now, hopefully we can get Torquay and Yeovil out of the way early doors!”
Hartlepool get their friendly fixtures underway at Billingham Synthonia on Tuesday, July 2 (7pm kick-off).
Hignett’s side will then travel to Shildon, Newton Aycliffe and York City before hosting Sheffield United Under-23s at the Super 6 Stadium on Saturday 20 July (3pm kick-off).
The 2019/20 National League season will start a fortnight later on Saturday, August 3.