'I am hoping for five or six' - Dave Challinor provides transfer update at Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor insisted he will not panic as he looks to add to his squad ahead of next weekend’s League Two opener against Crawley.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 8:46 am
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor. (Photo credit: Frank Reid)

The Pools boss was speaking after his side rounded off their preparations for their return to the Football League with a 5-0 win at Northern Premier League club Dunston UTS.

Challinor watched on as summer signings Reagan Ogle, Martin Smith, Neil Byrne and Olefula Olomola all enjoyed a relatively comfortable 90 minutes on Tyneside.

Work is continuing behind the scenes at Victoria Park as Challinor looks to add to his ranks – but he refused to press the panic button as he stressed the importance of getting the right players into the club.

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“I am hoping for five or six new ones to be honest,” he told The Mail.

“Whether that materialises, we are in the hands of other clubs really.

“We hope to get positive news, we need bodies, we need quality, we need competition, and we know that.

“We will do all we can to get that, but it is important that we don’t panic and just get players for the sake of it.

“It’s important we do due diligence and have first, second and third choices in different positions.

“Hopefully they materialise and come our way.

“If not, we carry on working, and if we have to go into the first game of the season with what we have got, that’s where we are at.”

Academy forward Harry Close caught the eye at the UTS Stadium as he marked his full senior debut with a goal in either half.

The youngster will be unable to sign a professional deal until he turns 18 in October and is unable to feature in League Two until then.

Challinor praised the impact Close has made throughout pre-season and challenged the 17-year-old to continue his improvement by working alongside Pools’ senior men.

“It’s really tough because we are coming into a league where you can’t play non-contract players and he can’t sign a professional contract until he is 18.

“It’s a rubbish situation he is in.

“He has been with us throughout pre-season and it would be great to give him an opportunity in a Papa John’s Trophy game or something like that.

“He has had a taste of men’s football with Billingham (Town), it’s for him to continue to improve and continue to be in and around our players.”

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