What Dave Challinor said about Mark Cullen and other Hartlepool United trialists after Runcorn Linnets win

Dave Challinor is hopeful Hartlepool can agree a deal to sign Mark Cullen on a free transfer after the striker scored in a resounding pre-season win over Runcorn Linnets.

Sunday, 18th July 2021, 9:18 am

Cullen, 29, scored Pools’ third goal with a towering header in a 9-1 victory over the non-league side and has been training with the club on trial this week.

The player, who came through the ranks at Newcastle, is available on a free transfer after his deal at Port Vale expired at the end of last season.

Challinor wants to sign at least four new forward players this summer following the departures of Luke Armstrong and Rhys Oates.

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Mark Cullen playing for Port Vale.

When asked about Cullen, Challinor told the Mail: “Culls obviously knows the area and was at Port Vale last year so we know about him.

“He’s been in and we are hopeful that we might be able to do something, fingers crossed that’s the case. We know what he brings and he’s a goalscorer.

“I said to him at half-time he had one touch in the penalty area and scored.

“It’s difficult at times because we’ve not had a massive amount of time in pre-season and that’s difficult for all the lads to be fair.”

Pools played two separate teams in each half against Runcorn, which included nine trialists in total.

Challinor will continue to assess his options ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Spennymoor but knows some decisions may need to be made quickly.

“Some of them are with other clubs and others are potentially free transfers that we are looking at,” added the Pools boss when asked about the trialists. “Others have been playing in different countries.

“We are hopeful of doing some deals with some but we need to have conversations and whether we see them again on Tuesday we’ll see.

“It’s difficult because as with everything people want decisions which I completely understand.”

On the win over Runcorn, Challinor added: "It was 45 minutes, take the result away from it and obviously we want to win games and get into that winning habit.

“The reality of it is we should come here and win, we’ve done that.

“It’s a quick turnaround and a good workout for us.”

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