Hartlepool United must be positive, said captain candidate Luke George

Luke George battling for possession for Chester. Picture courtesy of the Chester Chronicle
Luke George battling for possession for Chester. Picture courtesy of the Chester Chronicle

‘Leader’ Luke George insists only a “positive” outlook can get Hartlepool United out of the National League.

The 24-year-old signed for Pools last week in a bid to achieve his dream of playing in the Football League.

Leadership is massive, it’s got to come from everyone, it can’t be an individual thing

LUKE GEORGE

Following the club’s first ever relegation from the EFL, it would be fair to say that players, staff and fans are not exactly doing cartwheels of delight.

But optimism is growing following the appointment of Craig Harrison as boss and the first batch of signings, the no-nonsense midfielder being part of that.

“It has to be positive,” said the Scouser, who moved to the Northern Gas & Power Stadium from NL rivals Chester.

“Relegation is something we can’t dwell on - I know a lot of people will be hurting after Hartlepool dropped out of the Football League.

“We must move on it’s got to be a positive environment from day one, it has to be the aim to go back up.”

It is not going to be easy, given how competitive the division is.

George knows the National League like the back of his hand having spent the last four seasons ‘putting himself about in the fifth tier.

And he could be an early contender for the skipper’s role next season, given that knowledge of the NL, not to mention his captaincy experience.

It has to be said that George is NOT touting for the job but simply a process of adding two and two together.

Club captain Billy Paynter has already left the Vic and there is a good chance the man who led Pools for much of last season, Nicky Featherstone, will move on.

If Harrison is to seek a fresh leader, he could do worse than the midfielder, who says all the players must play their part in that area.

“Leadership is massive,” said George, who explained in an interview with www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk that he has skippered his last two teams.

“It’s got to come from everyone, it can’t be an individual thing, we’ve got to be bold and strong, stand up for each other and pull in the right direction.

“I was at Southport and I ended up captain for the second year I was there.

“It was the same at Chester, I got the armband there as well.

“One of the qualities I’ve got is that I’m a leader.”

George and Pools will get to know their programme in the National League on Wednesday, July 5.

The NL have announced a 1pm ‘kick-off’ for the announcement of the fixtures, slightly later than Pools have been used to in recent times.

Saturday, August, 5, will be the opening matchday, with the end a week earlier than normal, on Saturday April 28.

Pools face a hectic festive schedule with games on Saturday, December 23, Boxing Day Tuesday December 26, Saturday December 30 and Monday January 1.