Analysis: Ronnie Moore wasting no time getting the pieces of his Hartlepool jigsaw together

Hartlepool United striker Rakish Bingham celebrates his goal against Cheltenham
Hartlepool United striker Rakish Bingham celebrates his goal against Cheltenham

Cast your minds back 12-months.

Hartlepool United had narrowly avoided a major relegation scare to retain their place in the Football League.

Sound familiar? Fast forward a year and Pools found themselves in a similar situation.

The key difference being the club, with Ronnie Moore at the helm, has wasted no time in casting aside the deadwood and securing the signings of some young, highly-rated hungry players.

Last season Colin Cooper was in charge and while the retained list was announced quickly, new signings were not so forthcoming.

Supporters had to wait an age until Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby were announced as the big summer signings – Bates the first signing revealed on June 24.

Both failed to live up to expectations.

But there was an even longer wait for further recruits, with Tommy Miller, Michael Woods and Middlesbrough loanee Ryan Brobbel not confirmed until the eve of the new campaign.

Whether it was down to Cooper’s lack of contacts beyond the Riverside, a lack of resources, or the club being a hard sell, the summer recruitment was a struggle and as a result Pools started the season poorly.

They never recovered and were in free-fall when Cooper resigned in early October.

This summer though has been a breathe of fresh air, three new signings and a goalkeeping coach all added to the roster by June 2 – with the promise of further investment to come.

Moore has spoken openly about adding up to nine new faces during pre-season and he will need to after releasing six players, including the experienced Miller, Parnaby, Marlon Harewood and Jack Compton.

So far Moore has added Rakish Bingham (21), Rhys Oates (20) and Carl Magnay (26) with Tony Caig the new goalie coach.

Bingham is of course a familiar face after his loan spell and while he didn’t score as many goals as Moore would have liked, he impressed with his raw energy, pace and potential.

A shrewd summer signing, and one that was desperate to work under Moore again. The same can be said of Oates, an unknown quantity but again a young player with a lot of potential.

He too spoke of wanting to work for inspirational Moore, with Magnay more experienced and capable of playing anywhere across the defence.

A good bit of business to start the summer and finally Moore is even considering going away on holiday.

The pieces of his Poolie Jigsaw are quickly falling into place with hope building among supporters of a positive campaign to look forward to. For once.

Moore is one of the most experienced managers in the Football League and his raft of contacts will be key this summer – they are already proving to be the key difference between this year and last.

And the club deserves credit too. Ken Hodcroft and owners IOR have been on the receiving end of a lot of criticism in recent seasons.

An over reliance on loan signings has been a big part of the problem but this calendar year five players have been signed on permanent deals – young, hungry players who could well make the club a profit in future - whoever owns it.

Scott Harrison, Ebby Nelson-Addy, Bingham, Oates and Magnay are all Hartlepool players. With more to come.

The future is looking bright, with ‘inspirational’ Moore leading from the front.