We turn our attentions to the weekend with a full and in-depth preview of Saturday's meeting with AFC Fylde at Victoria Park.
Hartlepool United v AFC Fylde
Vanarama National League
Saturday 26th August 2017, 3pm
AFC Fylde have arrived in the National League with big ambitions having been promoted from National League North as Champions last season.
The Lancashire coast outfit have an owner whose eyes are firmly on achieving EFL status in the coming years and an impressive new stadium which would grace a much higher division.
The Coasters have enjoyed three promotions in six seasons to find themselves in the top tier of non-league football but are yet to taste their first victory at this level having drawn four and lost one.
The loss of influential skipper Josh Langley to a cruciate ligament injury is a major blow but boss Dave Challinor has been able to strengthen his squad this week with the signing of former Exeter City midfielder Tom McCready following a successful trial.
One To Watch
Front man Danny Rowe struck an astonishing 50 goals in all competitions last season to help AFC Fylde in to the National League and they’ll be hoping for more of the same during 2017/18.
A local lad who has been on the books since 2014 after spells at Fleetwood Town and Lincoln City, Rowe is already off the mark this term having found the net during the 3-3 draw at Ebbsfleet United a fortnight ago.
Given that The Coasters have found the net in every game so far this term, it’s perhaps surprising that the 27-year-old hasn’t scored more but if Pools can keep him quiet today it will be a job well done.
Head To Head
This is the first time that Pools and AFC Fylde have shared a division – therefore Saturday’s game will the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
It will be Simeon Lucas’ first game in charge of Pools this weekend when he’s the man in the middle for our tussle with AFC Fylde.
The official has been running the line in recent seasons but moved infield at the start of the current campaign to make his National League whistling debut.
It’s fair to say there have been few fireworks for Lucas so far – he watched Barrow and Halifax battle to a 0-0 draw in his first game and oversaw a Macclesfield Town and Bromley’s goalless draw in the other.
Will he see a goal this Saturday?
Pools legend Brian Honour will join Mark Simpson in the commentary box for live coverage of Saturday’s game on Pools PlayerHD.
You can join the lads from 2.50pm when they go live from The Vic to set the scene ahead of the National League encounter with The Coasters.
Fans will be able to buy tickets on the day of the game from the Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road or from our two Matchday Ticket Offices.
There will be no cash turnstiles for Pools fans but we have introduced a method by which supporters can buy tickets on their cards directly at the gate.