Hartlepool United defender Michael Raynes discusses his role in the squad

Hartlepool United defender Michael Raynes is a strong believer in the verbal side of the game.

Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 5:45 pm
Michael Raynes warming-up during pre-season. Picture by Frank Reid

The typically quieter pre-season matches has allowed Raynes’ voice to provide a regular backing track to the games as he bellowed out orders to his teammates.

Many had tipped the summer signing to be handed the captain’s armband for the new season given his obvious leadership qualities. But manager Craig Hignett said: “Raynesy is a leader anyway – whether I give him the armband or not, he’s going to lead.”

It was later confirmed that Ryan Donaldson would retain the captaincy for the upcoming season despite missing all of pre-season with a calf injury.

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Raynes has stood in as skipper during the friendlies and could well lead out the Pools side in their season opener against Sutton United on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The 31-year-old defender said: “It’s the majority of my game if I’m being honest, going out there heading it and shouting at people!

“Football has changed a lot, you don’t get much of it any more, when I started the game was a shout-off. Those days have gone, the game has changed for the better, even at this level.

“If some of the boys can pick up things then they will help themselves and help those around them. I’m ready now, hopefully we’ll get a good start but don’t panic if we don’t.”

After completing their busy pre-season schedule this week, the games will keep coming thick and fast for Pools as they play nine games within the first month of the competitive campaign.