Pools boss Craig Hignett is back with his latest update as he reflects on another busy week at The Super 6 Stadium.
Hello again everyone and welcome to my weekly Blog here on the Official Website.
Obviously the first big news of the week was the development on the goalkeeper front with confirmation that Scott Loach will move on this summer followed by the announcement of Ben Killip’s arrival at the Club.
I think, with Scott, we half expected this could be the way it went and so that allowed us to prepare a little bit for the circumstance. Having anticipated it, we went out and identified a few goalkeepers with that in mind and Ben was at the top of that list so I am delighted to get him.
What Scott has done at Pools, playing every minute of every game in the two years he’s been here, has been different class. He’s also been different class as a lad and someone to have around the squad so he leaves with our very best wishes for his future career.
As I said earlier in the week, we tried to target some of the best young goalkeepers in the division and I think with Ben we have one of the very best.
Those of us who were at the Braintree game last August saw him put in a very eye-catching display when he made a number of top saves, including one from a penalty. However, it wasn’t just that – he showed a real maturity for a young lad, he commanded his box and he’s vocal. As well as that, he’s as good as I’ve seen with the ball at his feet and he can kick it a long way too.
I know Ben mentioned that Ross Turnbull and I went down to London to meet him personally and discuss the move – as I have said before, I think that’s an important part of things. It doesn’t happen as much as it should in football but I want to be able to look someone in the eye when I am asking them to come and play for the Club.
It’s very easy to just pick up a phone to talk to someone or call an agent but if you’re sitting there in front of them you can get a feel for them and ask relevant questions. Of course, it works both ways and they feel good because you’ve made the effort to go and see them personally.
It doesn’t always work, of course, and there’s more that goes in to pulling off a transfer than just meeting a player. I have sat in front of plenty of people already and not all of them have come off but it’s not for the lack of effort or the want of trying.
Just as I was finishing this Blog we were able to get the deal over the line to keep Liam Noble at the Club in to next season and that’s another bit of business we’re really happy to sort out.
Liam was a big part of our midfield last season, he knows the league well and he was our top scorer from midfield so he’s a big part of what I hope will be a squad with lots of competition next year.
Sometimes he can be a little bit like the pantomime villain when the opposition fans get on his back but I think he revels in that sort of environment.
He’s a very good footballer technically and he’s also got a good football brain – he can manage a game, slowing things down or changing the flow of a game. He’s good at that and there aren’t too many about who are can do that so we’re pleased he will be staying with us.
There’s plenty of work going on but I have to admit I am going to have a relaxing Saturday. I have a plan in place to take Bruno for a long walk in the morning and then I am heading round to a friend’s house to watch the football.
As well as the Champions League Final there is also a big night of boxing so hopefully after I’ve watched Liverpool lift the trophy I can enjoy seeing Anthony Joshua knock out Ruiz as well, that would be the perfect day.
As a Liverpool fan, I feel as confident as I can do. If Liverpool play like they can then they should win the game but we all know how good Spurs are – they have plenty of talented attacking players who can unlock a defence so it won’t be easy. I just think that, after the season Liverpool have had, it would be a travesty if they didn’t win the game so fingers crossed it happens.
I know that a few of you sent in some questions for me on Twitter this week and I am going to answer as many as possible over the weekend so look out for that going online here on the Official Website on Monday.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.