Hartlepool United boosted by arrival of ex-Man City/ Nottingham Forest prospect

James Thourne: New signing.Picture courtesy www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk
James Thourne: New signing.Picture courtesy www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk

Craig Harrison has made the transfer boost he’s been striving for at Hartlepool United – after three knock-backs in the last fortnight on geographical grounds.

The Pools boss has strengthened his forward line with the signing of former Nottingham Forest youngster James Thorne.

The players have not wanted to come this far north from down south

CRAIG HARRISON

The powerful 21-year-old looks set to come straight into the Pools squad for tomorrow’s National League trip to Woking (kick-off 3pm).

Thorne took part in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday at Victoria Park, where Pools beat a young Bradford City XI 6-2.

The Manchester-born player has joined on an initial three-month contract, with an option to extend his stay to the end of the season.

Thorne, who began his career at the Manchester City Academy before being released in 2014, looks terrific raw potential. He spent brief spells at Salford and Macclesfield Town ahead of a move to Forest.

Thorne played the 2015-16 season for Forest’s development team and made his one senior appearance in August 2016, starting in a 2-1 win over Millwall in the EFL Cup.

He joined Maclesfield on loan late last season, making six appearances and scoring no goals.

Thorne’s arrival comes following the departure of Padraig Amond to Newport County and the sidelining of tall striker Jake Cassidy.

Harrison used leading scorer Jonathan Franks, Rhys Oates and Ryan Donaldson as his three most advanced players last week against Eastleigh, bringing on Connor Simpson, Devante Rodney and Jack Munns in the second half.

Thorne, who has been given the number 10 squad number, is a player, who brings a new dynamic to the final third.

His arrival comes as a boost after Harrison had tried to bring in three attacking talents, but says attracting players is not easy.

“We have to be realistic about who we are, where we are and who we can attract at this point in the season.

“In an ideal world, we’d love to be bringing in a senior player because we haven’t got a senior player at that end of the pitch.

“But they don’t grow on trees.

“There have been three players I’ve tried to sign or made inquiries about over the last two weeks that have not come off for geographical reasons.

“The players have not wanted to come this far north from down south.

“People have to understand it’s not easy, it’s not a case of ‘we need a striker, so let’s get one in’.

“There could be four or five circumstances which come into it, availability, timing, travel, finances.”