Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor gives clear update on former Middlesbrough midfielder Luke Williams' position at the club
Dave Challinor hopes to see Luke Williams as a ‘Hartlepool United player’ in the coming months but admits the midfielder will have to get some game time elsewhere first.
The 27-year-old remains out of contract at Pools despite a promising pre-season campaign. Four goals against Brandon United and 90-minutes against Darlington were important steps as the midfielder looks to put his injury nightmares behind him.
But with Williams yet to start a competitive game since arriving at Victoria Park over two years ago, Challinor feels the midfielder needs to test himself elsewhere before being part of Hartlepool’s first-team plans.
Williams’ number 18 squad number from last season has been left vacant, potentially paving the way for his return to the first-team picture.
“We spoke with Luke and he’ll continue training with us,” Challinor said.
"What I’ve told him is that he’s got to the point now where he’s played 90-minutes but what is important is that he doesn’t fester. He’s not ready to play 90-minutes for us in the National League right now and he knows that, he’s totally open about it.
"As I’ve said, we’re looking to potentially doing something with him and getting him out for the next month playing games somewhere.
"That will get him closer to where he needs to be and hopefully we sort something and we can continue to have him playing football.
“It won’t be for us over the next month or so but the hope is he’ll get out playing with the view of him being fitter, stronger and a Hartlepool United player in the coming months.”