Craig Harrison keeping a close eye on Hartlepool United triallists

Pools boss Craig Harrison. Picture by Frank Reid.
Pools boss Craig Harrison. Picture by Frank Reid.

Craig Harrison will continue to keep tabs on a series of triallists at Hartlepool United.

The boss currently has five players training and playing for Pools.

Four started in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Harrogate, with a fifth, James Graham rested having played his first match in 12 months at Dunston last Wednesday.

German keeper Sören Pirson and defender James Risborough played for the first time, while midfielder Martin Smith and Junior Mondal both started, the winger playing the entire 90 minutes.

“We’ve had a few triallists and they’ve all done well,” said Harrison.

“Junior, James and Sören got 90 minutes on Saturday.”

Mondal was released by Middlesbrough in the summer, while Pirson and Risborough have both come from the continent.

Pirson, 31, has featured for a number of sides in Germany, while Risborough, from Stockton, has been playing in Sweden for Ytterhogdals IK.

Certainly the 24-year-old has an opportunity as Harrison looks to add another left-footer to his ranks.

Those with a left peg are thin on the ground with new signing Blair Adams having little in the way over cover or competition.

“Sören is with us for a fortnight,” said the boss.

“He’s played Bundesliga 2 for a few different clubs so we have brought him in for a look.

“James is a local lad whose been playing out in the Swedish Second and First divisions.

“We need to strengthen the left side a bit and bring a bit of competition for Blair so we’re looking at James.

“We’ve only really got one left footer in Blair plus Devs further forward so we probably need a bit more balance.

“We’ll see how it goes.”

Former Everton youngster Graham was not used at Harrogate as he takes tentative first steps back into football after a year out of the game.

“James has not played for a long time and given that the risk of injury might have been high, two games in four days might have been too much at this stage,” said Harrison.

“But he’ll be back training this week.”

Harrison hopes to have a full squad to choose from when Pools host Sunderland tomorrow night at Victoria Park.

Jake Cassidy, Luke George, Carl Magnay and Jack Munns and Devante Rodney all sat out the match with niggles.

Keeper Scott Loach, who was left out so Harrison could run the rule over Pirson, will start against the Black Cats.

Harrison has Nicky Featherstone back in the squad after the midfielder recovered from a hernia op at the start of the summer.