NEW season, new start, new strip.
Hartlepool United have unveiled their home kit for the 2013-14 campaign.
Attacking stars Jonathan Franks and Luke James modelled the blue and white colours on a lush Victoria Park pitch which looked more like a billiard table.
Just like the club’s squad, the home jersey has undergone just minor changes – the blue and white stripes reverting to a more traditional width compared to last season’s broad look, while there is also a blue collar.
Dove Energy remain as the sponsor on the front of the jersey with local firm Dean Construction on top of the back of the shirt.
Both players gave the kit the thumbs up which will go on public sale at the ground this Thursday.
Fittingly, it’s the day the players return to work and James says he and his team-mates are champing at the bit to try to regain League One status.
“The new home shirt looks nice,” said James, who finished last season on fire and will be favourite to start up front.
“It’s been good to be back at the ground and now I can’t wait to get back.
“It’s the time of the year when the players just can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.
“Hopefully, we’ll kick on and do well in this campaign.”
Despite improving in the second half of last season and bringing in Colin Cooper as their new manager, Pools have not convinced the bookmakers of their promotion potential.
The odds vary from one turf accountant to another but the averaged out figures of the bookies has Pools listed as eighth favourites for the title.
But James says he and the squad are optimistic of their chances in League Two.
“I think the lads are confident we can do well,” he told SportMail.
“Obviously we can’t get too carried away or too ahead of ourselves but, yes, I think we are quietly confident we can have a good campaign.”
Both James and Franks look fit already without an ounce of extra weight on their athletic frames.
And while Franks has enjoyed a holiday in Turkey, James has stayed at home in the close season though he has stayed active.
But he admits his attempts to crack golf will not have Tiger Woods or Justin Rose quaking on the tee or green.
“I didn’t go away and I took up golf instead, or tried to,” smiled James, who said he was happier with a football than golf ball.
“I wanted to play with my dad but I’m hopeless at it and my game needs a lot of work!
“But I’ve played a bit of football too.
“We’ve been lucky with some good weather so I’ve been out with my mates quite a few times out on the pitch.
“It’s been nothing too serious but it’s still been nice to play a bit.
“Now, I can’t wait to get back to pre-season training on Thursday.”