Richard Money wants Hartlepool United to look beyond the traditional North East ‘big three’ when setting up their January transfer deals.
But the Pools boss has revealed he does have a very positive relationship with key players at Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlebrough as he looks to strengthen his National League hand in the winter window.
Money spent some time as academy director at the Magpies, but also knows the power brokers within the Black Cats’ and Boro youth setups.
For that reason, Money says it would be wrong to discount a number of regional deals getting done, this month and beyond.
But the 63-year-old, who is keen to add at least three more players to his ranks before February, hopes Pools can broaden their search a little.
“I have good relationships with all three clubs and we are active with them at the minute,” said Money.
“I went to the Sunderland against Newcastle under-23s and I was able to meet Joe Joyce (academy manager). I also met Richard Hill (Associate of owner Stewart Donald) at Sunderland, I played with Kevin Ball (SAFC loan manager). Craig Liddle (Boro academy manager) was a youth team player for me at Aston Villa and of course Joe was my assistant at Newcastle.
“But we also need to look elsewhere. Yorkshire is close enough to us - teams like Doncaster, Leeds and Hull, Scunthorpe, Burnley, Wigan etc play in an under-23 competition which tends to be a bit more relevant to us - it’s a bit tougher.
“The under-23 football at say Newcastle is more for the purist.”
Money understands geography will always play a part in his transfer dealings, though - especially when trying to prise players from further afield.
“The geography of this club is such that, most of the clubs are in the south and few are up here. We cannot change that,” he said.
“At Cambridge it was not hard to recruit. We could sell the vision, far easier than we can here and that made it cheaper.
“Hartlepool is a nice place but people a perception of the town and it is a long way. To persuade a player from one of the bigger clubs down south to come up is not easy.
“The only way you do that is by paying more money. And while the chairman (Raj Singh) is extremely generous with his backing at the club, there is a budget we need to adhere to. That will apply this season and last.
“That budget will mean we cannot pay over the odds for too many players.
“I do genuinely think we can build a good club here.”
Despite that hindrance, Money is in no mood to just take anyone - a player signing has to be the right fit for Hartlepool United.
He added: “We will not just take anyone. We want to be forthright in the players that we want
“We want to bring some hunger to the club and give people a chance at a career. We also need to get the right experience around that.”
Money’s Hartlepool side travel to Harrogate Town on Saturday - kick-off 12.30pm - at Wetherby Road.