Hartlepool Utd boss to run rule over trialists

Jack Baldwin in action against Doncaster Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID
Jack Baldwin in action against Doncaster Rovers. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United will continue to run the rule over a quartet of trialists heading in to next month.

Manager John Hughes was in the stands at Billingham Town’s Bedford Terrace on Wednesday to see the four in action during the 4-0 reserve-team win over Rotherham United.

Three of them – Joe Clemo, Jideofo Maduako and Tommy Fletcher – have come recommended by Pools’ southern scout, Ray Parker.

Curtis Edwards, meanwhile, is a 19-year-old midfielder currently on the books of Middlesbrough.

Former Ipswich Town trainee Maduako and Fletcher are both centre-backs, while Clemo is an offensive-minded right-back.

And Hughes told SportMail: “I don’t know too much about them and we let our scout down south get on with it.

“Ray Parker, the guy who brought Jack Baldwin to us, works very hard down there.

“If he sees anyone who he thinks could do us a turn then we’re happy to get them in and have a look.

“The ball is in their court and we’ll see how they do.”

Hughes, though, has been impressed by the ball-playing Edwards.

“Curtis was just finding his way on the first day with us but then we trained indoors and he was absolutely outstanding,” said the Scot.

“You could see he was a clever footballer.”

Micky Barron admitted after the second-string win that Edwards had been the pick of the bunch.

And, given Hughes’ preference for attractive football, he could well earn an extended trial period at Victoria Park with four reserve fixtures still to play.

“I want to bring in a few players and play a style of football which will attract neutrals – we’re a long way from that right now,” Hughes said.

“But it’s up to me to build a team that is capable of that.

“I also need to find the right character of player and I’m constantly assessing who wants to be in this dogfight.”

He went on: “I hope my summer plans are geared towards building a team for League One.

“I think the club deserves to be playing its football in this division.

“It’s good for a community which has had a hard time over the past few years.

“I know a lot of supporters take a lot of pride in what their club is doing.

“I hope we can put that pride back in there.”