Nicky Featherstone: How Dave Challinor has moulded Hartlepool United into National League play-off finalists

Nicky Featherstone has worked under eight permanent managers during his time at Hartlepool United, but only one has led the club to the brink of promotion.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 4:45 pm

Pools are potentially 90-minutes away from a Football League return after booking their place in the National League promotion final this Sunday (2pm kick-off).

Dave Challinor’s first full season in charge of the club has seen the good times return to Victoria Park, even without fans for the most part.

And Featherstone – who is looking to round off his seventh campaign at the club with a first promotion – has praised the impact the Pools boss has made since arriving at the club in November 2019.

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Dave Challinor gives instructions to Nicky Featherstone during Hartlepool United's match against Halifax Town (photo: Frank Reid).

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"He’s made Victoria Park a difficult place to come for one,” said the Hartlepool midfielder.

“Our home form wasn’t great but this season it’s been very good and now there’s a real connection between the club and the fans again.

"I know it’s been difficult with fans not being able to come to games but he’s made a real connection back with the fans and the club.

"We play a real positive style of football which is nice on the eye. We get after teams and create lots of chances and go and attack teams and look to win most games. We’re always set up to win and at this level that’s what the fans and the club wants to see.”

Around 3,100 Poolies will make the journey to Ashton Gate this weekend for the play-off final against Torquay United as Pools look to end a memorable season on the highest of highs.

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