Luke Williams talks fitness, feeling wanted and his Pools return

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Luke Williams says he’s fit and ready to go - should Hartlepool United need him this weekend.

The midfielder penned a deal yesterday to return to the Super 6 Stadium, having been released by Scunthorpe in May.

Despite only training with the first-team squad for the last three weeks, Williams says he’s available to start against Dagenham, if needed by manager Matthew Bates.

“It feels good to be back,” said the 25-year-old, who had a successful loan spell at Pools back in 2015.

“I’ve been away now for four years,

“I’ve lived away from home so it’ll be nice to come home and there’s a lot of familiar faces still here.

“I’ve been training with the lads for about three weeks now as part of my pre-season training.

“They’ve made me feel welcome and I know a lot of the faces as well which has helped. There’s some good characters here.

“That’s the main thing for me, playing football again.

“I wanted to get a good few weeks training under my belt and see where I was and after speaking to the gaffer and Higgy it came about.

“They put an offer on the table and a good offer.

“It’s something I’m looking forward to doing and testing myself.

“Every day I’ve had it (nudges from Bates and director of football Craig Hignett) really.

“I’ve got on with training and got that under my belt, which is the main thing, and now I’m ready to go and get some games.”

Getting Williams marks somewhat of a coup for Pools, with the player operating at League One level last season.

It also marks a perfect 10 for Pools, with Bates’s signings moving into double figures for the summer.

The business has been both impressive and unexpected, especially given the narrative from within the club back in June, which suggested a frugal few months ahead.

Pools went all out to convince Williams, the Vic was the place for him to continue his stuttering career.

And it did not go unnoticed by the player himself.

“It’s nice to feel wanted and after signing it’s down to me to repay that and show what they signed me for,” said Williams, who is likely to go straight into tomorrow’s squad for the Daggers clash.

“That (first spell at Pools) was my first-ever loan spell and it went brilliant for me.

“I got everything out of it that I wanted and the club was great.

“We got some good results too. Coops (Colin Cooper) and Higgy were the managers then and now I’ve come back and Higgy’s stepped up a bit so it’s good to see him again.

“It’s just game time is all I need now.

“Hopefully I can build that up over the coming games which are coming thick and fast.

“We’ve had a lot of games already and hopefully I can get a few minutes ticked off here and there and then go from there.

“I had bad luck (with injuries) but that’s behind me now.

“You can’t really look into the past and I’m fit and ready now so I’m going to go for it.”

A common denominator from players old and new this summer has been talk of morale and a positive mood in camp.

Having spent the best part of a month at the club’s East Durham College training base in Peterlee, Williams concurs that things are good behind the scenes at Pools.

“You come in and everyone has a smile on their face,” he said.

“Training is fun and you have a laugh but it’s still serious and means stuff to people, which is good.

“It’s how you get the best out of each other.

“That’s a stepping stone now to really push on and try and get some points on the board early and give ourselves the best standing to push on and go for it.”