Hartlepool United might have snapped up one of their old guard to boost their National League ranks, but manager Craig Harrison is casting the net far and wide in his search for reinforcements.
Step into Harrison’s room at the club’s Durham University training base and it is awash with tactics boards, notes on opposition, players dossiers and the like.
Just one look inside shows you the former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace player is a real student of the game.
And, keen to get the edge over his fifth tier opposition, Harrison, who secured the signing of Jonathan Franks yesterday, is using Scout7 as an aid to more traditional forms of football scouting as well as match analysis.
Harrison is hunting for at least one more new face to aid his hopes of securing promotion back to the Football League with Pools, assessing potential new players from across the globe from the pair of online databases this summer.
“We are always looking to add to the squad,” said the manager.
“It is something we always want to do.
“In the National League, the transfer window is open most of the year around.
“We are looking at positions all across the board. If we can improve or bring something different, whether on loan, on a free, or a small fee, it is up to us.”
Reflecting on what he currently has at his disposal, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Bromley, Harrison says there are a lot more positives to take from midweek than negatives.
That, despite the fact it was yet more points dropped at home to part-timers Chester in midweek.
“Tuesday was encouraging and it was good for 89 minutes. When the mistake happened, I was expecting Jeremy Beadle to appear,” joked the gaffer.
“But fair play to Scott (Harrison), he recovered well from it, pulled himself together and could easily, at a young age, crumbled and he didn’t. Credit where it’s due.
“The silly goal taints a very good performance. I said after the game we have to be more clinical in both thirds of the field.
“It’s far from good so far, but we look forward and build and improve on Tuesday and be ready for Saturday and build again.”
Harrison, as well as being studious by nature, is a realist.
A positive influence at Pools, he is also a real straight-talker.
And he knows the start he has made this season with the club – two points from four games – has been far from ideal.
“Results aren’t what we wanted, but I’m not getting down about it,” he said.
“Everyone has to remember that it is a long season – there’s 42 games left when you look at it like that.
“We want to win regularly, of course, and I’m sure that when the first one comes along then we will go on a run. There’s more positive signs than negative.”