Hartlepool United line-up v Sutton United – a few surprises as big names miss out

Craig Hignett has named his Hartlepool United side for the opening game of the National League season against Sutton United.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 2:01 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 3:18 pm
Goalscorer Jason Kennedy celebrates with Kenton Richardson and Luke James during pre-season.

The much discussed competitive nature of the Pools squad has provided several selection headaches for the manager with the majority of players impressing in pre-season.

But Hignett confirmed that he had chosen his side well in advance of the start of the season as he looks to combat the rigorous start to the National League while also keeping his squad happy.

As expected, Ben Killip starts between the sticks with Kenton Richardson, Fraser Kerr, Michael Raynes and Romoney Crichlow-Noble completing the back line.

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Gus Mafuta, Jason Kennedy and Liam Noble will be the three across midfield with Luke James, Nicke Kabamba and former Sutton forward Gime Toure starting in attack.

The game comes too soon for Luke Williams, who frustratingly missed training in the build-up to the game with an issue unrelated to the knee injury that kept him out for the entirety of last season. Ryan Donaldson (calf), Josh Hawkes (hamstring) and Luke Molyneux (foot) miss the game as expected. While the strength of the Hartlepool squad is epitomised by the quality of fit players who haven’t been able to make the bench this afternoon.

Peter Kioso, Myles Anderson and Niko Muir are just three first-team players who haven’t been named in today’s squad.

Pools XI v Sutton: Killip; Richardson, Kerr, Raynes, Crichlow-Noble; Mafuta, Kennedy Noble; Toure, James, Kabamba

Subs: Cunningham, Kitching, Bale, Featherstone, Holohan.