It was a true fairy tale end to the 2014/2015 season as Ronnie Moore led Hartlepool to the Great Escape.
The club had one foot in the Conference in March and looked condemned to non-league football.
That was until Roonie Moore, a four game winning streak and a few draws helped the 'Pools to claw themselves away from the bottom and to League Two survival. Now, it is pivotal that the club uses the 2015/2016 campaign to progress after narrowly surviving relegation in the previous two seasons.
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Recent reports state that Ken Hodcroft has stepped down as chairman and IOR have sold the club after 18 years at the helm. The club has reportedly been sold to JPNG Global, a recruitment firm, who have offices in Dubai. The sale should the club stability off the field, something which they have lacked in recent years.
As well as getting business done off the field, Ronnie Moore is acting quickly in the transfer window. Moore has already brought six new faces to Victoria Park.
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Moore signed Rhys Oates on a free transfer on the 28th of May in order to bolster his attacking options. The young forward spent last season on loan to Grimsby and Chester scoring three goals in 12 appearances. The youngster spent the majority of his career out on loan but his debut for the club last season and made a total of nine appearances. And with Moore keen to field a youthful side, Oates certainly fits the criteria.
Rakish Bingham enjoyed a good albeit short loan spell art Hartlepool last season. Bingham started his career at Wigan Athetlic and moved to Mansfield Town at the start of last season. In a bid to get some playing time the 21-year-old joined Hartlepool in January and made five appearances, scoring once before the Stags recalled him. The striker scored on his return to the club and in total made 28 appearances, scoring six goals. Moore managed to bring Bingham back to Victoria Park and he signed for the 'Pools on the 20th of May.
Carl Magnay has joined the Pools’ defence. Magnay hails from the North East and is a full-back and can also play in central defence. The 26-year-old previously played for Gateshead for two years between 2012 and 2014 making a total of 70 appearances. Magnay enjoyed a successful season at Gateshead in the 2014/2015 campaign and helped the Mariners finish third, playing 45 times and scoring once for the club. He also took the accolade for the Supporters’ Player of the Year. Magnay brings a wealth of experience with him having started his career at Leeds United and spent fives years at Chelsea.
To join Magnay in defence, Harry Worley has signed for the club. Worley previously played for Stevenage and prior to that he played for Newport County where he played 26 times and scored four goals. The towering centre-back comes in at 6ft 4 and will certainly add some height to the Pools’ backline.
Another defensive reinforcement drafted in by Moore is Jake Carroll who can play either at left-back or in midfield. Although he was born in London, Carroll was raised in Dublin and played for St.Patrick’s Athletic. Carroll joined Huddersfield Town in 2013 for a fee believed to be around the €150,000 mark. The 23-year-old then had loan spells at Bury and Patrick Thistle making 6 and 10 appearances respectively. Whilst on loan to Patrick Thistle, Carroll was forced to train wearing a onesie after being dubbed the worst performer in training. Carroll was released by Huddersfield at the end of last season and snapped up by Pools on the 12th of June.
Between the sticks, the club has signed former Sunderland goalkeeper Trevor Carson. Carson spent last season at Cheltenham Town who were ultimately relegated from League Two. The keeper played a total of 46 times for Town. Ex-Hartlepool stopper Anthony Williams is optimistic about Carson’s Hartlepool career. Williams said: “Trevor is extremely athletic, very well conditioned and can kick the ball very far - for miles! “He can get out of difficult situations with his kicking and he makes unbelievable saves at times too.”
With six new recruitments already signed up, Moore is certainly showing that he is serious about taking Hartlepool forward. Pools’ fans can definitely look forward to an exciting 2015/16 campaign.