Mark Shelton hails the Hartlepool United team spirit - and picks out these two players in particular

Mark Shelton has labelled the team spirit at Hartlepool United as ‘really special’ – and picked out a couple of fringe players for their role in the club’s promotion.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 4:30 pm

Josh MacDonald and Luke Williams have been on the fringes this season at Pools but Shelton has paid tribute to their attitude in and around the training ground during the week even though they knew their gametime was going to be limited.

Shelton has hailed the spirit at the club, something that has been clear to see in the celebrations on and off the pitch following promotion back to the Football League.

“It’s really special,” said Shelton.

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Hartlepool United players celebrate after winning the shoot-out and promotion after the Vanarama National League play-off final at Ashton Gate, Bristol.
Hartlepool United players celebrate after winning the shoot-out and promotion after the Vanarama National League play-off final at Ashton Gate, Bristol.

"I’ve been at clubs before and you just don’t really have the togetherness like we have got here.

"It helps when you’ve got people like Buster and Sweens but even the lads who haven’t been playing like Josh MacDonald, Luke Williams has had a tough year, having those people around the place who know they’re probably not going to play and the only place they can really contribute is in training and even then they’re still not going to play.

"To have them so positive around the lads is a credit to them because it’s not easy and I’ve been in teams where I’m not playing or getting on the bench and I’ve been guilty of being a bit sulky at times.

"But these type of things help the lads go and do well, so credit to people like that.”

Pools won promotion back to the Football League thanks to a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Torquay United in the National League play-off final but this is a summer like no other with the squad back in training in 10 days or so.

The new League Two season starts August 7 with Crawley Town heading to The Vic.

Dave Challinor and chairman Raj Singh have no time to waste when it comes to building their squad ahead of the new campaign with a high turnover of players expected.

The Pools boss does, however, hope to keep hold of the bulk of the squad.

Hartlepool are, however, yet to confirm any new signings or contract renewals since being promoted.

Talks regarding a new contract for Challinor are also yet to progress with his current deal set to expire next summer.

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