Details of TWO Hartlepool United trialists featuring in first pre-season friendly

Matthew Bates is set to cast his eye over some trialists this afternoon
Matthew Bates is set to cast his eye over some trialists this afternoon

Matthew Bates will cast his eye over a pair of trialists when Pools take on Billingham Town this afternoon.

True to his word, the new boss has named two different line-ups for each half as Pools prepare to take on the Northern League side.

It will be Bates' first opportunity to watch his new-look squad, which includes seven new additions.

New signings Andrew Davies and Peter Kioso will feature in the first half, while Myles Anderson, Liam Noble, Mark Kitching, Paddy McLaughlin and Niko Muir will all enter the fray after the interval.

And the United manager has included two trialists - both of whom will feature in the first half.

Midfielder Harry Middleton was released by Port Vale in the summer and will be looking to impress Bates today.

He progressed through the ranks at Doncaster Rovers, going on to make over 60 appearances at the Keepmoat Stadium before joining the Valiants in 2017.

The defensive midfielder, who is also comfortable playing in a more attacking role if required, spent time on loan at Halifax last season where he featured as the Shaymen were beaten 4-0 at Victoria Park.

Scottish attacker Connor Higgins is the second trialist, and joins up with Pools having previously been at Partick Thistle.

He failed to make an appearance for Thistle's first-team, but was impressive in their development set-up and was highly-regarded north of the border.

Meanwhile, youth team defender Brook Miller is also given a chance to shine as he features in the first-half.

First Half XI: Loach, Miller, Davies, Laing, Middleton, Kioso, Newton, Woods, Hawkins, Cassidy, Higgins

Second Half XI: Loach, Richardson, Magnay, Anderson, Donaldson, Noble, Featherstone, Kitching, McLaughlin, Hawkes, Muir