Hartlepool United manager Craig Hignett looking forward to former Chelsea and Leeds United midfielder Michael Woods' return to Victoria Park with Dover Athletic

Craig Hignett will welcome one of his former players back to Victoria Park on Saturday when Dover Athletic visit the north east.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 06:00 am
Michael Woods of Hartlepool United celebrates scoring his sides goal during the Vanarama National League match between Dagenham and Redbridge and Hartlepool United at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, London on Saturday 25th August 2018. (Credit: Leila Coker | Shutter Press)

Dover midfielder Michael Woods played over 100 times for Pools between 2014 and 2018 and is set to come up against his former club for the first time this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The 29-year-old is one of two former Hartlepool players who could feature for the Whites with Jack Munns also in Dover’s ranks. The diminutive midfielder played 19 times for Pools during their first season in the National League, scoring once.

Hignett – who managed Woods during his first spell as United manager in League Two – was full of praise for the flame-haired playmaker.

“Woodsy’s a great lad and we know all about him and what a good player he is so it will be interesting playing against him for the first time,” he said.

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“It will be strange to see him in a Dover shirt, it was strange seeing him in a Harrogate shirt last season.

“Knowing the type of character he is, he’ll want to do his best for Dover and give a good performance in front of the crowd at The Vic. He’ll get a great reception, I hope he does because he was terrific for the club and really good player and person to have around.

“I keep in touch and speak with him now and again and it’s nice to see him playing because he hasn’t had much game time since he left for Harrogate.

“He’s playing a bit deeper at Dover but he’s a good footballer who can pass the ball. He does what I like, he passes, follows, he’s clever and will play one touch when he has to.

“He should have played higher and he has a good football brain. Obviously he went to Chelsea from Leeds all those years ago so the pedigree is there.

“He has struggled a bit with injuries but when you see him fully fit then he’s a really good player.

“He’s one of the best technical players I’ve managed. I think him and probably [Nicky Featherstone] are as good as each other and have some real good technical ability.”