Hartlepool new boy relishing match action

Jake Carroll
Jake Carroll

Jake Carroll can’t wait to get the chance to show he can play football as well being able to run, jump and climb.

Seven days after being part of the Hartlepool United bootcamp at Catterick, the 23-year-old is looking forward to being back in more familiar surroundings - a football pitch.

It hasn’t put me off signing, but the next club I play for I’ll be asking first if they are going to any army camps!

Carroll, signed from Huddersfield Town in the summer, will make his first Poools appearance in this evening’s friendly at Billingham Town (kick-off 7pm).

Boss Ronnie Moore plans to field two separate XIs in each half at Bedford Terrace and Carroll is excited to get 45 minutes against the Northern League side.

“We had a training game last Thursday which was great just to get the legs going and it was a good standard,” said the Dubliner.

“Now, I can’t wait for the first friendly.

“We have not done a great deal with the ball and not played a match for a long time.

“I think it might be a case of lads playing 45 minutes in each game and it will work perfectly for us for fitness and we’ll be looking to get results as well.”

Carroll spent time on loan at SPL outfit Partick Thistle last season, making 13 appearances, before injury forced his return to Huddersfield.

Moore was delighted to pick him up after the left-back was released and Carroll was just as happy to sign.

Not even the rigours of a ‘beasting’ at Catterick has given him any egrets about signing.

“It hasn’t put me off signing but the next club I play for I’ll be asking first if they are going to any army camps,” laughed the Irishman, who is equally happy at left wingback.

“It’s the toughest pre-season I’ve been involved in.

“There wasn’t much ball work, I’m not going to lie to you.

“A lot of times in the past, you’d get tested the first day and then second day onwards the ball would come out and you’d get fitness at the same time.

“It’s been different here but definitely beneficial.

“The lads have bonded, especially thanks to the army camp.

“Being away from home and all of us in together, we definitely bonded quickly.

“It’s things like this that you can see what the lads are like, the lads are a great bunch.”

Carroll was one of the first players to get a look at the new kit after being chosen to model the new home strip last Friday.

Pools have changed from their traditional striped jersey.

The traditional blue is the primary colour but the stripes have been replaced with a white diagonal band.

“It’s beautiful and nice and light,” said Carroll. “I like Nike kit.

“I’m well used to blue and I’m a big fan of this design.”