Well, the new season is almost here and we're ready to see if our beloved Pools can make it out of the National League at the fifth time of asking.

If we thought this was bad then maybe we should to look at Wrexham's situation as a comparison. Our National League counterparts fell out of the FL in 2008 and haven't made it back since. So there's definitely some hope out there. 

As I said in my returning column last month, this is Dave Challinor's first real season in charge of Pools as he came midway through the last one. The squad has again changed with DC taking numerous trialists on pre-season to see if they are good enough to be part of his reshaped squad. He's been busy with no less than 10 signings made in the summer (at the time of writing) which goes to show he knew where the squad needed strengthening. Now it's time for this new look squad to make the town proud again and by gosh it's needed.
"The big question is: can we do it this season?"

One player that some will hope can make an impact is Luke Williams if DC offers him a new deal. Luke, it has to be said, has never had the chance to shine due to one injury after another. On his day he can be a world beater, and could be the difference-maker. If he can remain fit, it's like having a new signing on your books. Fingers crossed Luke, you could be our secret weapon in the months ahead.

The big question is: can we do it this season? Putting my realistic head on, I don't think we will win the title at all. But if the team can stay solid at home and pick up points here and there away then a play-off spot is definitely not beyond them. If I have any concerns, then I think the squad depth is a bit on the lightweight side but finances have probably had an impact on this. DC is going to have juggle what he has at his disposal whilst wheeling and dealing in the loan markets. Unfortunately with the gap between the bigger and smaller clubs widening all the time, this is how it is.

So whilst being exiled here in Northern Ireland, I've been also following the fortunes of two former Poolies south of the border, those being Scott Fenwick and Connor Simpson who are at Cork City. Unfortunately at the time of writing, things aren't going well for City as they're bottom of the table. Both strikers haven't found the net either. There's though a third Poolie connection at Turners Cross, City's assistant manager is Joe Gamble who made 61 appearances in Pools colours between January 2010 and July 2011. I'll be keeping you updated on their performances every month...

Well that's it for now. Strap yourselves in Poolies and get ready for another bumpy ride of emotions. Here's hoping that come May 2021, there is going to be cause for celebration, but Pools being Pools... it certainly won't be easy! Pools never do things the simple way, do they?

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