A new dawn is breaking at Hartlepool United.
Just over a fortnight after the club parted company with Matthew Bates, a new chapter is ready to begin under the experienced Richard Money.
With a track record of promotion, the new appointment has Pools fans dreaming of a play-off push - but Money will be under no immediate pressure to deliver such results.
That’s according to chief executive Mark Maguire, who says the club will take ‘anything they can get’ this season before looking to push on in the 2019/20 campaign.
Ex-Walsall and Luton boss Money was appointed as Bates’ successor earlier this week and is busy preparing his side for an FA Trophy trip to Leamington in what will be his first outing as Pools boss.
Attention then turns back to the National League, where Hartlepool find themselves sat 13th despite harbouring play-off ambitions at the start of the current campaign.
A strong recruitment drive coupled with the optimism associated with the club’s takeover meant hopes were high among Pools fans before the big kick-off.
And while the appointment of Money has reignited that ambition, Maguire confirmed that the new manager will be under no pressure to deliver a play-off finish this season.
That’s not to say the club wouldn’t accept such a result, but they are instead focusing on building momentum ahead of next season - with the chief executive viewing it as an 18-month season.
“We’ll take anything we can get this season,” admitted Maguire.
“One way of looking at it is that we’ve got an 18-month season, but another way to look at it is that if we start on an upward trajectory quickly then we’ll take what we can this season.
“If we happen to sneak into the play-offs, we’ll be thrilled to bits and take it.
“But equally we’re aware that it might be an 18-month project.”
Money has wasted no time in stamping his mark on a Pools squad which has won just one of its last eleven outings, bringing in defender Harvey Rodgers on a one-month loan from Accrington Stanley.
And the Stanley man may not be the only new face arriving at the club under the new manager.
Maguire confirmed that Money will continue to be backed in the transfer market, providing that the deals represent good value for the football club.
And with plenty of movement a possibility in January, that is likely to be music to the ears of Hartlepool supporters.
“There’s always been scope to bring players in, within sensible budgets,” he added.
“We’re not going to go down the line of exposing the club financially, but the chairman has made it very clear that he’s prepared to help in that respect.
“It will be done, but done properly.”
Meanawhile, Maguire has responded to Lee Bradbury’s claims that he was told the job at the Super 6 Stadium was ‘as good as his’.
Bradbury, who is currently manager at National League rivals Havant & Waterlooville, was interviewed for the role but was ultimately pipped at the post by Money.
And the club have now moved to dismiss Bradbury’s claims.
Speaking to the club’s official podcast, Maguire said: “We had a very open process, and a process that I’m quite proud of, that we did very professionally.
“We communicated with all of the candidates who were shortlisted throughout in terms of letting them know timescales etc.
“There’s been stuff out there alluding to the fact that we didn’t know about clauses in people’s contracts or we told them that we preferred them.
“The reality is that we treated every body is a really even-handed fashion.”