Hartlepool United caretaker Antony Sweeney discusses initial meetings with manager to be Dave Challinor

Antony Sweeney unexpectedly continues his spell as caretaker manager at Hartlepool United this weekend with new boss Dave Challinor set to be confirmed on Monday.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Antony Sweeney during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barnet at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 26th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )
Antony Sweeney during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barnet at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 26th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News )

Challinor was due to be unveiled this week following the club’s confirmation that a deal had been agreed for the former AFC Fylde boss to be Pools next permanent manager.

But contractual issues with his previous employers see Sweeney continue as caretaker for Saturday’s FA Cup first round trip to Yeovil Town.

The 36-year-old has met with Challinor to discuss the plan moving forward at Hartlepool and his first impression has been a positive one.

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Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and AFC Fylde at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Tuesday 13th August 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“I’m excited for the future,” Sweeney said.

“We’ve spoken quite a lot and we’re in the early stages of getting to know each other but the early signs are that we’re not a million miles away with how we see things running.

“He’s got some good ideas and seems a really good fella so he’s been easy to get to know so far so I’m excited for what the future will bring.

“He’s going to have his own way of doing things but he knows a lot about the football club and our players because he’s really done his homework.

“If he thought we were a million miles away from where he wanted to be or could get it to be then I don’t think he would have put himself forward for the job.

“He knows there’s some strong foundations here, it just needs a bit of tweaking and he has the ideas and the experience to do that.”

Challinor will help the development of Sweeney and Ian McGuckin as coaches during his time at the club. But Sweeney won’t be considering a return to first team management just yet.

“There have been aspects that I’ve enjoyed but others have been a challenge so those are the things that you have to weigh up should you put yourself forward for it in the future,” he said.

“I’m sure that sort of decision won’t be made for a very long period of time because we’ve appointed a manager who, in my opinion, has the credentials to make this team successful and the club successful.”