Hartlepool United release Sunderland midfielder and free agent duo following trial spells

Adam Bale and Hartlepool United's other triallists have left the club
Adam Bale and Hartlepool United's other triallists have left the club

Hartlepool United have released their trio of triallists - but manager Craig Hignett is open to welcoming more potential signings into the building.

As revealed by the Mail last week, Hignett was casting his eye over three potential recruits at Pools' Peterlee base.

Sunderland under-23 skipper Adam Bale, former Black Cat Rees Greenwood and ex-Kilmarnock midfielder Aaron Splaine all enjoyed a week-long spell with the club as they looked to earn a deal.

But Hignett has now confirmed that the trio have departed the club - although it they are unlikely to be the last triallists through the door at Pools this campaign.

The new manager is happy to hand other players a chance to impress before the end of the campaign as Hartlepool look to strengthen.

"All three came in, have done reasonably well and have all gone back," he said.

"We got them in for a week and, as a manager, I'll look at anyone.

"If they can improve us then it's well-worth looking at.

"There will be loads of traillists come in before now and the end of the season, I would guess.

"But as of yet, nothing has happened with any of them.

However, Hignett is keen to ensure that any triallists taken on by the club are in it for the long-haul.

"Anything would be with a view for next season," he admitted.

"I don't want anyone as a stop-gap. I don't want them coming in until the end of the season and then going somewhere else.

"I want someone who is going to pin their colours to the mast, if you like, and say I'm going to be here for the next 18 months."