We begin our look at the teams who will be joining Pools in League Two next season by focusing on Conference Play-Off winners Cambridge United.
Who’s in charge?
Richard Money is the man who has guided Cambridge United back in to the Football League after taking the helm at The Abbey Stadium in October 2012.
The former Fulham and Liverpool defender has plenty of managerial experience and won the League Two title in 2006/07 when his Walsall side finished one point above Danny Wilson’s Pools.
Money first moved in to management at Scunthorpe United in the 1990s before moving to Sweden to take charge of AIK whom he took in to the UEFA Cup and then Vasteras SK where he staved off relegation.
The 58-year-old went further afield for his next managerial assignment when he took the top job with Australian outfit Newcastle Jets, guiding them to a fourth-place finish in the A-League.
In October 2009 he returned to England when he was appointed boss at Luton Town but after finishing second in the Conference he suffered the agony of defeat in the play-offs as York City knocked them out in the semi-finals.
He left The Hatters in March 2011 and re-emerged at Cambridge the following October with Jez George returning to his role as Director of Football after spending time as caretaker boss.
How did they get here?
The U’s secured their return to the Football League following a nine-year absence when they defeated Gateshead 2-1 in the Conference Play-Off Final on Sunday.
Ironically, Cambridge’s winning goal was scored by former Gateshead man Ryan Donaldson – a striker who also spent time on loan at Pools under Mick Wadsworth at the start of 2011.
United had finished second in the table at the end of last term, nineteen points behind champions Luton Town and three points ahead of third-placed Gateshead.
Where do they play?
The Abbey Stadium has been the home ground of Cambridge United since 1932 and remains their home today despite talk over the years of a new stadium being built.
Obviously a number of redevelopments have been completed over the years, most recently the building of the all-seater Marston’s Smooth South Stand in 2002.
When did we last meet?
The most recent meeting between the two sides came at The Abbey Stadium back in January 2003 – a largely forgettable affair which ended in a 0-0 draw.
On 28th December 2002 Pools had celebrated an excellent 3-0 victory over The U’s at Victoria Park when goals from Eifion Williams, Mark Tinkler and Darrell Clarke helped round off 2002 in style.
Colin Cooper’s View
“I’ve watched the play-off games and I thought Cambridge looked a threat in the semi-finals and then also in the Final against Gateshead who have had a fantastic run.
“I thought Cambridge proved their worth though and I am pleased for Richard Money because he’s someone I know very, very well as I spent a lot of time with him when he came to Nottingham Forest for a spell.
“He’s a really good guy and a very good coach who has spent a lot of his coaching career outside of the country developing his skills in Sweden.
“I read some of his quotes this morning and he said he was just relieved that Cambridge United were back in the Football League after nine years because it’s a good football club.
“I think we all remember playing against them in the league a while ago and their brilliant cup runs with the ways and means that John Beck went about it.
“I’ll be delighted to catch up with Richard next season but I know they will be dangerous because any side who can get out of the Conference will be a force to be reckoned with and I would expect Cambridge and Luton to begin next season with momentum.
“I have to say I’m gutted for Gary Mills at Gateshead because since he’s gone there they’ve been on a phenomenal run – but I would like to think he’ll know they’ll be more than equipped to finish the job off next season hopefully.”
When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new League Two campaign will be released on Wednesday 18th June.