Matthew Bates reveals his transfer plans and theory behind the Hartlepool United retained list

Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates

Matthew Bates admits he's keen to strike early in the summer transfer window and revealed the club have already put an offer to one potential new signing.

The new Hartlepool United boss today revealed the club's retained list, with a total squad revamp underway.

Most of those who were brought in by previous manager Craig Harrison have been told they can leave, or have been released, with Luke George and Blair Adams shown the exit door. Only Scott Loach of Harrison's signings last summer remains under contract and wanted for the National League battle ahead.

With wholesale change the order of the day at Victoria Park, Bates admits he's desperate to get his business done early, although he knows that's easier said than done.

But, speaking to the club website, he did reveal an offer has already gone to one potential news signing, and talks are ongoing with "three or four" others.

"I want to move quickly on the transfer front and try to bring some new players in to the club but we all know it’s not always as easy as that," said Bates.

"We’re working hard and speaking to players – we had conversations with three or four on Wednesday alone – and an offer went in to one player so they can look at that and see what they want to do.

"It would be nice to get a couple of players through the door over the next couple of weeks but I think, realistically, a lot of our business will be done during pre-season."

One particular area new director of football Craig Hignett targeted in his time as manager at the Vic was the loan market.

And that looks like somewhere Bates and Hignett will again be looking to exploit.

"I think the loan market is going to be important for us and obviously that doesn’t usually get going until later in the year when clubs know which players are available to go out," said the 31-year-old.

"We want to try and bring some of those younger players from a higher level in to the group but we’re also looking to find the experienced lads who can come in to help them develop and give us that know-how that we’ll need."

On the retained list Bates admits it was one of the toughest decisions he has ever made since walking through the door.

"This week I have spoken with the players individually to let them know about their futures," said Bates to the club website.

"I have to be honest, that’s been the hardest part of the job so far. It certainly wasn’t easy to have the conversations with players who have, ultimately, done their bit to get me the job here.

"However difficult it’s been, we’re all acting in the best interests of the club so those hard conversations needed to be had.

"I have my own ideas about moving forward and the kind of squad I want and there are some contracted players who don’t perhaps quite fit in to the budget and have therefore been made available for transfer or loan.

"I felt it was important to speak to every player in the squad, both the ones who have left and the ones who are remaining with the club. I wanted to make sure they all know what I expect from them both individually and as a team next season.

"It was also useful for me to be able to explain to them a little more about what kind of pre-season it will be and that way they can tailor their individual plans over the summer to make sure they come back ready for what will be very hard work."