Uncertain Future


So the inevitable happened and the National League was brought to a close with nothing decided on what comes next. Which is a pity as Pools were in with a shout of the play-offs with some games to come with ample chances of picking up points from teams in the bottom half of the league.

I suppose it could be worse - we could be Barrow, four points clear and not certain to go up. The kind of luck that we thought belonged exclusively to Pools. But now we are in a position where players and some staff are on furlough and some have been paid off. Unfortunately, going back to the days of Mein Fuerher Hodcroft, the people who were sacked haven't actually been named by the club which you might think was the least they could do. 

Apparently one is media manager Mark Simpson who has been with the club for 18 years through thin and thinner. He had a massive job to follow the late great Paul Mullen and didn't do too bad job. For a Mackem. I don't see how he could have been made redundant in the job of Media Manager but still be needed by the club. It seems a case of cutting costs by any means they feel free to use and it leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. It was bad enough that the news has to be broken by ex-player Mick Barron on social media. Now it appears to be up to manager Dave Challinor as to which players will be at the club for the new season, whenever that may start. And I'm not holding my breath on that one.

If it starts up again this year I think we will be doing well. Apparently Ben Killip, Gus Mafuta, Ryan Donaldson, Luke Molyneux, Gavan Holohan and Aidan Keena are under contract and so will be here. Our five loan signings Timi Odusina, Gary Liddle, Mark Shelton, Macaulay Southam-Hales and Rob Harker will have gone back to their clubs. Out of those five I would have them all apart from Harker back with us full time. I don't think Harker is experienced enough for this league yet.
"There is going to be a surfeit of players looking for a club from July onwards and with Challinor's connections I am sure he can bring in some really good additions."

I would like to see a real cull of some of the deadwood we have left. There is going to be a surfeit of players looking for a club from July onwards and with Challinor's connections I am sure he can bring in some really good additions. To make way for the new blood I would say Goodnight Vienna to the following under-achievers: Ryan Catterick, Kenton Richardson, Frazer Kerr, Michael Raynes, Mark Kitching, Jason Kennedy, Nicholas Featherstone, Adam Bale, Nico Muir, Aaron Cunningham and Luke James. That would mean new contracts for Josh Hawkes, Gime Touré and Luke Williams.

Obviously the contract for Williams is controversial and would have to be a short one, or a pay-as-you-play one to start with but having spent all this time trying to get him back up to scratch it would be foolish to let him go and perhaps to another club where he can show his true class and make us look like a bunch of mugs.

I am not sure whether Touré would want to stay at Pools as he appears to have a strained relationship with Challinor. So it's looking like two full backs, two centre backs, and two strikers on the list. And I would certainly go for another goalkeeper as Killip hardly cuts the mustard. He might be under contract, thanks to the folly of ex-manager Craig Hignett, who has an awful lot to answer for, but I would be doing my best to foist - err, I mean move him on - to another club.

Whatever happens in the current climate it is going to be a good time to set the club on an even, sustainable keel and plan for a better future than the desperate times the loyal supporters have had to endure.

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