Jake Cassidy excited by reunion with Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison

Hartlepool manager Craig Harrison (centre) with his new signings (left to right)  Jack Munns, Blair Adams, Ryan Donaldson, Scott Loach, Jake Cassidy and Luke George. Picture by Frank Reid.
Hartlepool manager Craig Harrison (centre) with his new signings (left to right) Jack Munns, Blair Adams, Ryan Donaldson, Scott Loach, Jake Cassidy and Luke George. Picture by Frank Reid.

Positivity courses through the veins of new Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison, according to frontman Jake Cassidy.

And that’s the reason the striker was so keen to be reunited with the manager who plucked him from part-time obscurity.

It has been good getting back with Harrison – he has changed a bit since those days, but in a good way

Harrison swooped for the towering frontman for the second time in his career this summer, having plucked Cassidy from Welsh outpost Llandudno Junction, while the Pools boss was in charge at Airbus UK.

And Cassidy said he didn’t have to think twice about leaving fellow National League side Guiseley, where he scored eight goals last season, to rejoin forces with Gateshead-born Harrison.

“Guiseley was only ever a temporary move for me. It was a move designed to get me back on my feet as a player,” explained the 24-year-old.

“Under the gaffer, I enjoyed it there, but, for myself, I needed to be back full-time.

“Personally, this is a really good move for me. A big opportunity.

“The positivity flows from the gaffer – he is positive in every thing that he does.

“There is absolutely no need to not be positive.

“There is a good fanbase here and it is a big club.

“It has been good getting back with the old manager – he has changed a bit since those days. In a good way, of course.

“But I have to say I am really excited to work with him again.

“The squad we are building we know we can achieve things this season.”

Cassidy was the first of six new faces to come through the doors at the Vic this summer, as Harrison eyed a complete squad rebuild after the club’s relegation from League Two.

Jack Munns, Blair Adams, Ryan Donaldson, Scott Loach and Luke George have been added to the Pools ranks by the manager ahead of the club’s first stab at the fifth tier.

And Cassidy is sure Harrison has added enough quality for the club to mount a serious promotion charge this campaign. “We have got the talent here to go straight back up,” said Cassidy.

“This is a massive club.

“Everyone knows all about the disappointment of going down, but hopefully we can hit the ground running in what is a tough league.

“The quality is there, we know that, and the lads who the manager has added will only bring even more quality to the team.”

Cassidy, though, knows Pools, one of the biggest scalps at this level for any side in the division, won’t have it all their own way.

“It is a difficult league – hard, fast, physical,” he said.

“With only one going up automatically, there seems to be a lack of respect for the league.

“There is not enough appreciation at the quality at this level.

“There is no difference between the bottom of League Two and the National League.

“There are some big clubs down here. There are really good players knocking around, too. One thing you have to make sure is right is your mentality.

“Going to Barrow on a Tuesday night is not easy. It is tougher than any game in League Two. We need to make sure we approach the games against the teams who will likely be at the bottom end of the table right.”

* Pools’ friendly against Wigan Athletic has been cancelled.

Pools were due to host the Latics at Victoria Park on Tuesday, July 25, but the game has now been called-off at Wigan’s request.

Pools boss Harrison will now assess his options and decide whether to add another game to the club’s pre-season, which contains trips to Billingham Town, Dunston UTS, Harrogate, Blyth and Whitley Bay, as well as a home game against Boro’s Under-23s.

Latics manager Paul Cook said: “We thank Hartlepool for their understanding on this matter.”