HARTLEPOOL United’s youth team have been put through their paces this week during a pre-season exercise in the Lake District, writes RICHARD MENNEAR.
Pools’ youth team has spent the past three days taking part in a number of physical workouts including running, canoeing, kayaking and rock-climbing under the watchful eye of academy manager John Hewitson.
The aim was to push the next generation of Pools players out of their “comfort zones” while also helping the new intake of first year scholars to feel more at home in the group ahead of the 2014-15 campaign, which gets underway next month.
Hewitson, who said the club looks to do something different every year, said: “We’ll be in the Lake District until Friday and we’ll be definitely be doing plenty of running work but we’ll mix it up with hill work in between various other activities we’ve got lined-up as well.
“It will be a lot of physical stuff which is good for pre-season training but a lot of it is also great for team-building which is going to be a vital part of the time away.
“There’ll perhaps be things that they are doing which will push them out of their comfort zones and encourage them to rely on each other which will help them gel as a unit.
“We’ll also be trying to have some fun when we’re resting and recovering from our work so hopefully the lads will enjoy the trip.
“The second year lads have been around each other for a while now so it’s a key period to make sure that the new players mix in well with them and they’re a solid group by the time the season comes around,” added Hewitson, who was speaking to the club’s website.
On their return to the North East, the youth team have pre-season friendlies organised against Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City before they kick-off the new Youth Alliance League campaign at home to Burton Albion on Saturday, August 9 (KO 1pm).
The season comes to an end on the road when Pools make the trip to Mansfield Town on Saturday, April 4.
Hewitson added: “We’ve got a few games to help us prepare for the season and I’m happy with the schedule between now and then so hopefully we’ll be flying by the time we take to the field against Burton next month.”
Hartlepool United Youth Team Fixtures: Youth Alliance League 2014-2015
Sat 9 Buton Albion H 1pm
Sat 16 Doncaster Rovers A 11am
Sat 23 Rotherham United H 11am
Sat 30 YA Cup 1
Sat 13 Notts County H 11.30am
Sat 27 Lincoln City A Noon
Sat 4 YA Cup 2
Sat 11 York City H 11am
Sat 18 Grimsby Town A 11am
Sat 25 Bradford City H 11am
Sat 1 Scunthorpe United H 11.30am
Sat 8 Chesterfield H Noon
Sat 22 Mansfield Town H 11.30am
Sat 29 Inservice
Sat 6 Burton Albion A 1pm
Sat 13 Hull City A 11.30am
Sat 20 Doncaster Rovers H 11am
Sat 3 Rotherham United A 11am
Sat 10 Hull City H 11.30am
Sat 17 YA Cup 3
Sat 24 Notts County A 11.30am
Sat 7 Lincoln City H Noon
Sat 14 York City A 11am
Sat 21 Grimsby Town H 11am
Sat 28 Bradford City A 11am
Sat 14 Scunthorpe United A 11.30am
Sat 21 Chesterfield A Noon
Sat 4 Mansfield Town A 11.30am