Transfer latest: Hartlepool United could allow duo to depart on loan

Hartlepool United's Kenton Richardson in action against Ebbsfleet United's Sean Shields.
Hartlepool United's Kenton Richardson in action against Ebbsfleet United's Sean Shields.

Hartlepool United boss Matthew Bates is open to the idea of Josh Hawkes and Kenton Richardson going out on loan this season.

But the Pools manager says any temporary switch has to be right for both player AND club.

Nineteen-year-old Hawkes has featured just once for Pools this season, coming on the 69th minute of their opening day 1-1 draw at Maidstone United.

Since the player has been in and out of the matchday 16, only recently restored by Matthew Bates for the Bank Holiday weekend double-header.

Similarly Richardson has been involved just once this season, this time from the off in Pools’ only loss of the campaign against Ebbsfleet United.

When asked whether he would allow either to leave on loan in search of minutes, much like the deal that saw young keeper Ryan Catterick depart to the Northern League, Bates admits he was not against it, providing it did not leave him short of first-team options.

He said: “Possibly. We will judge this situation when and if it comes.

“Everyone in the squad I like as players. I am in no rush to get them out on loan as I like them all.

“But if they come to me and say they would like to go out and get games we will judge it on an individual basis.

“We will judge if it is best for them at that time, and also we have to have in mind that we do not want to leave ourselves short.

“We will see if and when we get any calls or if the players come to me.”

As well as Richardson and Hawkes, first-team regulars such as Jake Cassidy, Louis Laing and Lewis Hawkins have been absent from Pools’ 16 in recent weeks.

Bates says the players have taken the decision well, and so too have the players forced to sit on the bench of late.

“It has been great,” he said of the players’ reaction.

“We win together. You can see that in this team - the spirit is there.

“Footballers aren’t stupid. They know if people are playing well they will stay on the bench or out the squad. It’s as simple as that.

“The players understand. They are fine. They have been training well.

“I say it after every game, win lose or draw, that this is a squad game. We will need everyone on the bench and others.

“Players not playing will be important to us come the end of the season, even if they are not getting the minutes they would want now.”