Hartlepool United eye 'right' Jake Cassidy replacement

Jake Cassidy in action for Pools against Gateshead last season.
Jake Cassidy in action for Pools against Gateshead last season.

Jake Cassidy will only be replaced at Hartlepool United, if the right player becomes available.

The striker is expected to be confirmed as a Maidstone United player, with Cassidy's 18-month spell at Pools ending with a permanent move back south.

Antony Sweeney has been stepped up to first-team coaching duties under new manager Craig Hignett.

Antony Sweeney has been stepped up to first-team coaching duties under new manager Craig Hignett.

And the Mail has learned it is not certain Cassidy will be replaced.

Owner Raj Singh has talked in depth lately about not doing business for the sake of it and that appears to be a mantra shared by manager Craig Hignett.

While the money is there to do deals, Hignett will hold back from bringing a striker in to challenge Nicke Kabamba and Niko Muir unless he can get the 'right' player.

Twenty-five-year-old striker Cassidy played 14 times for the Stones earlier this season, before he was recalled by former Pools boss Richard Money in December.

Cassidy returned to Hartlepool's starting XI as Pools lost to the Stones on January 5, but was left on the bench against Braintree last weekend.

Cassidy joined Pools from National League side Guiseley in 2017 following spells at Wolves and Oldham.

He played 35 league games for Pools last season, scoring five goals.

Meanwhile, Hignett is keen for Pools hero Antony Sweeney to be part of his first-team coaching team long-term.

The 35-year-old former midfielder has been helping with the senior squad as well as continuing with his youth coaching role - and Hignett hopes it stays that way.

"Sweens is, for now, an extra pair of hands and eyes for me," said Hignett.

"I’ve a lot of respect for him, a great lad who is Hartlepool through and through.

"I’d like to get him more involved, but obviously he’s got another job here as well as Under 16-18s coach – a duel role already, but if I can I’d like him more involved.

"It’s nothing formal, I would like to get him in and around the first team for us and for his own development.

"Then, in the summer, maybe we could nick him full-time if it goes well and that’s a conversation for that time.

"At the moment he is free at times during the day to work with the first-team squad before the Academy train on an evening. He’s free to come and help us on matchdays and I see him being with us between now and the end of the season."