What to expect from Hartlepool United's first signing of the summer, Luke Charman

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Hartlepool United announced their first signing of the summer on Wednesday after securing the services of former AFC Fylde attacker Luke Charman. So, what do we know about the new man?

First and foremost, the 26-year-old feels very much like a Darren Sarll type of player, and fits the profile the new boss outlined in his summer update almost to a tee.

His recent goalscoring record - he bagged just four goals in 27 appearances for the Coasters last term - might point to a lack of potency, but it also suggests a willingness to sacrifice himself for the team.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He is renowned as a hard worker and should have an important role in leading Sarll's press next season; that should come as a welcome change to a large section of supporters, who felt their side were often far too passive and allowed opponents to come onto them last term.

The new boss secured his first signing of the summer on Wednesday after acquiring versatile attacker Luke Charman on a free from AFC Fylde.The new boss secured his first signing of the summer on Wednesday after acquiring versatile attacker Luke Charman on a free from AFC Fylde.
The new boss secured his first signing of the summer on Wednesday after acquiring versatile attacker Luke Charman on a free from AFC Fylde.

While he has played through the middle - and a prolific spell at local rivals Darlington, where he netted 19 goals in 33 appearances, proved it's a role he can perform well - he has spent most of his time out wide in recent years. The club are insistent he is not a replacement for Mani Dieseruvwe.

His ability to lead the line could prove important as, providing Dieseruvwe stays, Pools will still need someone to fill in if he gets injured.

Last season, Pools were woefully ill-equipped to fill the void left by the talismanic frontman during his month-long absence after Christmas.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In fairness, it was desperately bad luck to lose Josh Umerah around the same time, but Joe Grey is plainly unsuited to leading the line as a lone striker while a loan deal for Courtney Duffus yielded no goals from nine appearances.

So, while Charman could have a role to play up-front, and will surely be keen to improve on his goalscoring tally from last term, Poolies should expect to see him doing most of his work out wide.

Pools have been crying out for some width - indeed, Sarll will probably need to add at least one more wideman - and so in that sense the addition of the former Darlington forward is a welcome one.

Crucially, he has good pace, which is something else Pools were lacking last term. Suddenly, the prospect of a side featuring Charman, Joe Grey and the returning Dan Dodds provides Pools with a lot more potential to stretch sides.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At 26, he should be in the prime of his career, he has good height and is comfortable with both feet, which could make him a real asset on the flank.

Despite a slightly underwhelming season at Mill Farm last term, the Coasters still offered him a new contract and Pools fans will remember how impressive he was when helping his old side to a 2-1 win over his new team back in January.

Most of his best football has been played in the North East and, having been born in Durham and come through the ranks at Newcastle, captaining their under-23 side, he knows all about the unique, passionate football culture in the area.

Sarll was keen to stress his intention to recruit a core of players with ties to the local area - individuals who really, truly get what it means to the fans - and from that perspective Charman gets another big tick. Of course, he will also be well aware of the need to perform on the pitch, as fans have little time for those who don't, local or not.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Other than his mixed goalscoring record, which can reasonably be attributed to a transition to the flank - although Joe Grey bagged 13, mostly from out wide, last term - the biggest question mark against Charman's name is probably his chequered past with injuries.

He didn't feature at all for Fylde after January 23rd and struggled, at times, for fitness at both Darlington and Rochdale.

Injuries are part and parcel of football and muscle tweaks, strains and tears are a common problem for fast, powerful players like Charman. Pools fans will, of course, be hoping he can get through the season injury free, but Sarll will need to ensure he has enough strength in depth in case.

So, Charman might not be the most glamorous addition - in fact, Sarll is probably not the most glamorous manager - but he has the potential to prove a shrewd bit of business and should suit the new boss' industrious, robust approach.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Local and hard-working is one thing, but he'll need to demonstrate his quality and threat a bit more often than he did last season at Fylde under former Poolie Chris Beech.

If he can keep fit and get firing, then Sarll's first signing since arriving in the North East could be a useful one.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.