Hartlepool United assistant manager Joe Parkinson discusses Christmas training schedule leading up to Harrogate Town match on Boxing Day

For most people Christmas is the time to take some time off work and spend it with their families – but for the Hartlepool United players and staff, it’s business as usual.

Wednesday, 25th December 2019, 12:15 pm
Pools' assistant manager Joe Parkinson watches over the warm-up ahead of the FA Cup match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Tuesday 12th November 2019. (Credit: Gareth Williams)
Pools' assistant manager Joe Parkinson watches over the warm-up ahead of the FA Cup match between Yeovil Town and Hartlepool United at Huish Park, Yeovil on Tuesday 12th November 2019. (Credit: Gareth Williams)

The festive fixture schedule is amongst the busiest in the football calendar with Pools facing Harrogate Town on Boxing Day before hosting Barrow just two days later.

As a result, the side can’t really afford to have much time off over the Christmas period or else the consequences could be significant in terms of results.

When discussing the training schedule over the Christmas period, assistant manager Joe Parkinson chuckled: “They’ll get Christmas Day off and they had the rest of Saturday off!”

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Still, the Pools coaching staff want to manage things effectively in order to keep spirits high in camp going into an important run of games.

“It’s crazy the game programme so we will give them that time off when we can, whether it just means reporting in later or something like that, they’ll get as much rest as possible, which won’t be much,” he added.

“Footballers get rewarded and one of the sacrifices you have to make is that you don’t get much of a Christmas period.

“You get a decent summer but the winter is the busiest time of the year. But they get well paid so it shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience!”

Playing at one of the lowest levels of professional football means the Pools players are on modest wages in comparison to their Premier League counterparts, but their schedules and sacrifices remain very similar.