Hartlepool Utd challenge trialist Michael Woods to earn himself a deal

Michael woods in action for Hartlepool United during the game at Spennymoor last night. Picture by Tom Collins.
Michael woods in action for Hartlepool United during the game at Spennymoor last night. Picture by Tom Collins.

TRIALIST Michael Woods has been challenged to show what he can do to earn himself at place at Hartlepool Utd.

A Decision on Woods’ future with Pools is expected to be made in the coming days.

The midfielder, 24, completed the full 90 minutes against Spennymoor Town last night, a game in which a Pools XI won 4-1.

Cameron Park, who was released from Middlesbrough in the summer, trained with the squad yesterday and also played the match.

Woods’ future is a more pressing matter, however, the ex-Leeds man eager for a return to league football and showed glimpses of his ability against the Moors.

Player-coach Sam Collins laid down a challenge to Woods to continue to impress in training if he wants to be rewarded with a contract by Colin Cooper.

“If he keeps performing like he did last night then you never know,” Collins told SportMail.

“There were a lot of positives from him and he did well at times.

“It’s a chance for Michael to show the club what he can do and earn himself a contract.

“He’ll have to keep doing well in training and try and push to get a deal that I’m sure he wants.”

Lewis Hawkins was the brightest Pools performer and opened the scoring with a well-taken goal.

The 20-year-old is entering somewhat of a make or break season, a matter that isn’t lost on the coaching staff who are encouraging him to push for a first-team berth.

“We were pleased with everyone but there were three or four stand out performers including Hawksy who did really well,” Collins added.

“If he plays like he did last night and improves and works hard on his game, he can push on and do really well for himself.

“That’s what we are trying to do with him to get him involved in the first-team.”

Jonathan Franks grabbed a brace against Jason Ainsley’s hosts, Jordan Richards scoring the second from the penalty spot.

Pools had a hatful more chances and Collins acknowledges that they could have “scored three or four more on another day.”

He commented: “It was a young team that did well and played some good stuff at times.

“It wasn’t a penalty (Spennymoor’s goal that made it 2-1) and after that they had a ten minute spell where they unsettled us a bit.

“But once we settled back down we started passing it and working as hard as we previously had done and got back into it, winning it comfortably.”