Craig Harrison reveals the new technology Hartlepool United hope will give them the edge next season

Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison.
Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison.

Hartlepool United have teamed up with Teesside University to ensure the players are performing at their peak in training as new boss Craig Harrison looks to cover every base.

Pools will use GPS technology for the first time to monitor players' live progress during training sessions, meaning there will be no hiding places at their Durham base.

The technology means Harrison and his coaching staff will be able to see live reports when it comes to distance covered, speed and performance.

Harrison says the hope is that it will also help the club prevent injuries ahead of its debut season in the National League following relegation from League Two last season.

"One thing that will help us massively this year is the GPS technology we’ll be able to rely on during training to monitor the players’ progress," revealed Harrison.

"We’ve linked up with Teesside University and for the first time we’ll be able to see live reports on the players on a laptop as they’re actually taking part in the sessions, as well as being able to analyse performance closely afterwards.

"It’s a brilliant system to have available to us and a massive step forward for the club.

"The information we’ll get will allow us to have conversations with the fitness coaches and see how much mileage the players covered and at what speed.

"It will nail down individual performance so we’ll be able to tailor what we do for players – and see if there are any who need to stay back and do some extra work afterwards.

"The important thing at the heart of it all is injury prevention – injuries are part and parcel of football but, particularly during pre-season, it’s vital to try and keep a clean bill of health and anything science can do to help us protect the players is helpful," Harrison told the club's website.

The Pools squad returns to pre-season training on Monday, buoyed by the arrival of sixth summer signing Blair Adams.

And Harrison is looking forward to getting down to business after a busy off season which has also seen him sign keeper Scott Loach, midfielder Luke George and attacking talents Ryan Donaldson, Jack Munns and Jake Cassidy.

"I am now really looking forward to Monday when the players return for pre-season training," added Harrison.

"I have really enjoyed the last four weeks of work behind the scenes because I like organising and leading things but there’s no better feeling that getting back out on the training pitch.

"I dare say a few of the players may be dreading it – I’ll be honest, when I was a player, pre-season was the one time I didn’t really like.

"I certainly don’t miss it! But as a manager, it’s great to get back out there after the hard work of the summer and meet people face-to-face, start building relationships and bonding this bunch of lads in to a team that can lead us back to the EFL.

"I think a lot of people have a lot of opinions about how pre-season should be but my view is that it’s the same as anything – you need balance.

"It’s about ticking all the boxes you need to tick and going through the preparations meticulously.

"If pre-season was just ball work it wouldn’t work. If it was just running it wouldn’t work.

"We have to have a combination of everything to get them prepared for modern day football."

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