Hartlepool United eyeing former Huddersfield Town, Fleetwood Town and Rochdale goalkeeper but face competition from League Two rivals

Hartlepool United will welcome a familiar face back to the Suit Direct Stadium next season when Dave Challinor brings his Stockport County side to town following their promotion back to the Football League.

By Joe Ramage
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 1:00 pm

Challinor masterminded the Hatters’ promotion to League Two less than 12 months after he guided Pools to National League play-off success at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate.

And although it will be the first fixture Pools supporters search for in next month’s fixture release, Challinor and Pools could be set to lock horns sooner than that with both clubs set to battle it out to land goalkeeper Joel Coleman according to reports.

Former Huddersfield Town stopper Coleman is available on a free transfer after League Two side Rochdale confirmed he would be leaving the Crown Oil Arena at the end of his contract.

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Joel Coleman has been linked with Hartlepool United and Stockport County following his Rochdale release. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

Dale have since moved to sign Richard O’Donnell, another player linked with Pools recently, to replace Coleman with the 26-year-old now on the search for a new club.

And, according to reports by Football League World, both Pools and Stockport are leading the race to bring in the English stopper.

Pools confirmed a new deal for current No.1 Ben Killip who has extended his stay at the Suit Direct Stadium for another year which could suggest Coleman would be regarded as more of a back-up were he to arrive.

Meanwhile, Challinor could be on the lookout for a replacement for Ben Hinchliffe with the 34-year-old’s contract said to be coming to an end at Edgeley Park with Bolton-born Coleman in the frame.

“Hartlepool and League Two new boys Stockport County are interested in free agent goalkeeper Joel Coleman following his departure from Rochdale,” a Football League World source said.

“The 26-year-old, who has played in all four leagues in England, is leaving Rochdale following the expiration of his contract.”

But with Pools currently still without a manager following Graeme Lee’s dismissal, former boss Challinor could land the first blow in what is set to be a fascinating tussle between the two clubs next season following the events which unfolded in November last year when Challinor swapped the Suit Direct Stadium and League Two for the Hatters in the National League.