National League player registration deadline uncertainty as Hartlepool United consider new additions

Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor admits he’s slightly in the dark when it comes to the National League’s player registration deadline this season.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 6:00 am

National League clubs are not restricted by transfer windows in the same way Football League and Premier League sides are.

Pools and their fifth tier rivals are effectively allowed to sign players at any point during the campaign but there is a cut off point to register players in order for them to be eligible to take part in the ongoing campaign.

Previously, the registration deadline has been on the fourth Thursday in March – which this season would be March 25.

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Hartlepool manager, Dave Challinor before the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Yeovil Town at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 20th February 2021. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

But with the 2020-21 campaign extending into May, Challinor expects to see a bit of flexibility from the National League regarding player registration.

With the season now in March, the league are yet to make it explicitly clear to clubs as to whether the deadline will be altered or not.

Pools are currently assessing their options and considering dipping into the transfer market having lost a few key players to injury over the past week.

Defenders Jamie Sterry and Ryan Johnson are both doubts for Saturday’s crucial away trip to Torquay United.

And when asked about how long Hartlepool have left to register players this season, Challinor told The Mail: “Your guess is as good as mine!

"It’s normally the end of March but with the season finishing 29th May, you expect that it could be slightly later this season – we don’t know for sure.

"We’re speaking around recruitment and what we need to do so that’s a discussion that will take place and we’ve got to make sure we’re well and truly covered until the end of the season and there is still some uncertainty over what is happening with the North and South and what players could potentially be available.

"There will be more clarity in the next couple of weeks over what’s happening and what we can do for certain.”

The National League were approached for comment and told The Mail that the topic of registration deadlines will be discussed at the league’s upcoming board meeting.

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