Craig Hignett is looking to give the majority of his players at least 45 minutes in the first friendly of pre-season at Billingham Town on Tuesday night (7pm kick-off).
The Pools boss is delighted with the way the opening week of training has progressed and is looking forward to seeing how the players handle their first action of the pre-season schedule.
“We’ve had a really positive first seven days or so but we’ve only just started really and it’s all about fitness and getting those levels up to where they need to be,” he told us.
“It’s always a good run out for us at Billingham Town so it’s an ideal way to kick-off the games programme and it will be great to see the lads get some minutes under their belts.
“I like the fact that it’s a really local game too because that gives our supporters a chance to get along and see the new signings and hopefully enjoy the action too.”
Gus Mafuta is the only one of the new signings not expected to feature – the midfield man returned later than most to training and so needs more work before he’s ready to compete in a match.
Ryan Donaldson won’t be risked after feeling a tight calf in training, while Carl Magnay is back in training after injury but won’t be involved.
Myles Anderson is another who is set to miss out; the defender is sidelined after undergoing further surgery to repair the mouth injury he sustained last season.
“We have to be careful at this stage of pre-season and it’s pointless taking any risks with players,” explained Hignett.
“Luke Williams won’t play any part at Billingham for the same reason – he’s completed every minute of our competitive training so far but we have to take it slowly with him.
“He needs to be stronger and fitter before we feel that he’s ready for full contact so we will look after him and bring him in to it when it’s right for him.”
Hignett is also expected to take the opportunity to run the rule over several trialists in the game against Billingham, with former Carlisle United man Jason Kennedy one of those expected to feature.
Admission prices at Billingham Town are £6 for adults and £4 for concessions, while Under 16s are free.