Hartlepool United looking to revisit loan enquiries with Middlesbrough in January after failed attempts to bring in Newcastle United and Sunderland youngsters

Hartlepool United are looking to build on the success of recent loan moves they have had with some of their big North East neighbours.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Last season, Pools brought in Lewis Cass from Newcastle United and Brad James from Middlesbrough, both of whom played a crucial role in the club securing promotion back to the Football League.

Cass was a regular feature in defence throughout the 2020-21 campaign while James’ late arrival didn’t stop him making a big impact as he made a crucial save in the play-off semi-final at Stockport County and ultimately saved the crucial penalty in the final shootout against Torquay United that would see the club promoted.

But since returning the club to the Football League, manager Dave Challinor hasn’t tapped into the local loan market. Attempts to bring Cass back to Victoria Park as well as the likes of Benji Kimpioka from Sunderland and a number of players from Middlesbrough failed to materialise in the summer.

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Nathan Wood of Middlesbrough in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers at Riverside Stadium on January 24, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“It’s a tough one and it’s something I’ve talked to with Clint [Hill] to be fair,” Challinor told The Mail.

“Our relationship with all three clubs is strong, I think. The difficulty with Newcastle and the Premier League is we can only do window to window loans which we obviously did with Cass last season.

"But we’ve got to realise every club has their own agenda and objectives in terms of what they want to do with players.

"Once you get that out of the way, you’ve then got to look at players and agents potentially wanting to drop to a certain level.

Lewis Cass of Hartlepool United celebrates with the trophy following the Vanarama National League Play-Off Final match between Hartlepool United and Torquay United at Ashton Gate on June 20, 2021 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

"Cass last season should be a shining light to any Newcastle player to not shy away from dropping into the National League because he had a full season where he really developed as a player and got himself a lot closer to maybe not Newcastle’s first team but a first team in League Two than probably any other player there.

"Similarly with other clubs, it depends what players are there and what fits for them. We’ve got a really good relationship with Sunderland, Sweens speaks to Ged [McNamee], who was here, an awful lot.

"We speak to Middlesbrough and took Brad last season and have since enquired about four of their players this season."

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Brad James after saving Matt Buse's penalty in the National League promotion final penalty shoot out against Torquay United.

Pools are understood to have enquired about the loan availability of 19-year-old Boro defender Nathan Wood in the summer prior to his deadline day move to Scottish Premiership side Hibernian.

They also looked at a goalkeeper, midfielder and forward from the Teesside club – one of whom went out elsewhere while the other two remained at the club.

“I hope that we’ll revisit those two in January,” Challinor added, remaining tight-lipped on names.

“Whether Middlesbrough want them to come to us or want them out at all will be dictated by what happens for them between now and January.

"Then it’s down to the players and agents wanting them to come so there are lots of hurdles we have to overcome in order to get those deals to happen.”

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