Youth Team Set For Big Kick-Off

Ian McGuckin, Hartlepool United

Pools Youth Team kick-off their new season on Wednesday afternoon when they host Alfreton Town in the NLFA North Division at Welfare Park in Blackhall (2pm kick-off).

Led by Ian McGuckin and Antony Sweeney, the youngsters will be hoping they can begin their 2019/20 campaign in style following a longer than usual pre-season programme.

The brand new National League Football Academy also offers a fresh challenge for Pools and McGuckin reckons that is a good thing for the development of the Club’s young players.

“We’ve had a long pre-season but we’ve used that time wisely,” he explained.

“We’ve had plenty of really good friendlies so we should be well prepared for the new season and the lads are really looking forward to getting started.

“Obviously it’s a totally different challenge for us now. Previously, we knew quite a lot about the teams we were coming up against so it’s a little bit of a journey in to the unknown on that front.

“With it being an Under-19 league there might be that extra element of physicality too but I want the lads to be tested and challenged like that so I am looking forward to seeing how they respond.”

McGuckin has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from for the game against Alfreton, although midfielder Conner Rennison is sidelined with a knee injury sustained last week.

Kick-off is at 2pm and entry is free to all supporters at Welfare Park in Blackhall.