Ex-Hartlepool, Middlesbrough forward Jonathan Franks to play in friendly

Jack Munns fires the winner past Brad James. Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Munns fires the winner past Brad James. Picture by FRANK REID

Jonathan Franks could be set for a surprise Hartlepool United return.

The attacking player is in line to pull on a Pools shirt again as a trialist in this afternoon’s Whitley Bay friendly (kick-off 3pm).

It is a position we could maybe strengthen in. He is a ball carrier


The Stockton-born forward has spent this week training with Craig Harrison’s squad at the club’s Maiden Castle training base.

And the manager has confirmed that the ex-Middlesbrough man, who left Pools two years ago for a stint north of the border with Ross County, is set to start the club’s second friendly in the space of 24 hours, when they take on the Northern League side at Hillheads.

“Jonathan Franks is playing for us today,” confirmed Harrison.“He has been training with me this week.

“Obviously Franksy has been here before.

“It is a position we could maybe strengthen in. He is a ball carrier.

We are maybe looking for that different dimension. We maybe haven’t got a player who can carry the ball 40 yards and take the pressure off at times in a game.”

Asked whether he is likely to sign him, Harrison said: “He needs to perform on the matchday.

“It is one of them things – it would be nice to sign maybe two more players.”

Franks, who spent three years at Pools, playing more than 100 games, will not be the only trialist on show at Whitley Bay.

Harrison confirmed that as well as putting out a team that will include the likes of Liam Donnelly, Nicky Deverdics, Jake Cassidy, Luke George and Nicky Featherstone his XI will contain FOUR players on trial.

Former Boro player Junior Mondal will again turn out for Pools out wide, alongside former Riverside youth teammate Lewis Maloney.

Released by Garry Monk’s men this summer central midfielder Maloney, like Mondal, was once highly thought of as he came up through the Boro ranks.

But despite training with the first-team under ex-boss Aitor Karanka, 22-year-old Maloney was let go this summer.

Canadian Under-23 international defender Kosovar Sadiki will make up the quartet of players looking to win a deal at the Vic.

“If you look at the team it will have four trialists in it – all of a very good standard,” said the manager.

“Lewis Maloney is in there, Kos and Junior Mondal are playing today.

“It will be a strong team with seven or eight senior players and trialists.

“My mind is not made up ahead of next week - I have stressed that to the players.

“There is room for any of these players to force themselves into the XI.

“It would be wrong of me not to admit that I have seven or eight of the starting team already in my mind but there is always room for that to change.

“The players who have the shirts have to fight and the ones without it have to go just as hard.”