Craig Harrison’s Hartlepool United signings under the microscope

Hartlepool United goalkeeper Scott Loach makes yet another great save while playing against Solihull Moors.
Hartlepool United goalkeeper Scott Loach makes yet another great save while playing against Solihull Moors.

2017 is over and it’s fair to say it was a one to forget for Hartlepool United, for very obvious reasons.

It was a year of much change both on and off the park.

New division, new owners, new manager and a whole host of new players - 13, in fact.

But how have the new boys, signed by Craig Harrison, fared so far this season?

Here’s Liam Kennedy’s take on what they’ve dished up this campaign...

Scott Loach 9/10

The best shotstopper at this level bar none.

A class act on and off the park, he’s been a credit to the football club. And he’s been worth a fair few points this season already.

Blair Adams 5/10

The jury is very much out so far.

Looked like a cracking signing in an attacking side. Has been penned back too often when played.

Louis Laing 4/10

One tipped as one England’s best at his age group.

Has never got close to those heights and this season you can see why.

Needs to be stronger and braver to make it as this level.

Michael Ledger 6/10

Quite clearly a decent player. Not anywhere near close to fit enough.

Keith Watson 8/10

Up there as one of Harrison’s best signings.

Watson looks a class above this level. Fingers crossed they can hang on to him past January.

If not, I’m sure a few others will be interested.

The only issue moving forward is his fitness.

Luke George 2/10

Brought in to add beef to Pools midfield, he’s done nothing but add work for the club’s medical staff.

Unlucky or a case of a part-time player struggling with full-time training? It’s difficult to tell we’ve seen so little of him.

Jack Munns 3/10

Got off to a bad start and has just never been able to recover.

It was clear early on Harrison had visions of building a formation around him. His form has not lived up to that.

Ryan Donaldson 6/10

You can see there is a very good player at this level in Donaldson. The fact he’s been there and done it at this level proves that.

But it doesn’t quite feel like Harrison has found his best position. Room for improvement.

Jonathan Franks 8/10

Some were sceptical when former Middlesbrough wideman Franks turned up at Pools again, having had a mixed spell the first time around.

But what is in no doubt now is just how valuable he is to Harrison’s side. Put simply, they’re a better team when he’s in it.

Conor Newton 4/10

Some very brief flashes of quality, have been just that, all too brief.

The fact is that when fit he struggles to make it into Pools XI. He was brought in to improve the status quo. Yet to show signs of doing that.

Jake Cassidy 7/10

Cassidy was just what Pools needed. Big, strong, physical - he had everything they lacked up top last season.

He does need to add goals to his game, though.

The others 3/10

As a short-term fix both James Thorne and Tomi Adeloye were brought to the club. In fairness, neither improved Harrison’s lot.

The latter has been the better of the two, but both have been underwhelming.