Hartlepool United potential line up for next season

1. Goalkeeper: Will Jaaskelainen

With Pete Jameson returning to Harrogate and Joel Dixon out of form and being made available for transfer, Pools are looking for a new goalkeeper this summer. Darren Sarll knows Will Jasskelainen well, having signed him for Woking. At 25, the former Finland under-21 international should be approaching the peak of his career but, after falling down the pecking order with the Cardinals, will need to secure first team football if he’s to realise his potential. He played 35 times for Crewe when the Alex won promotion from League Two in 2020 and racked up another 45 league appearances across two seasons in the third tier. He displaced Woking’s first choice goalkeeper, Ethan Ross, not long after arriving in Surrey and so perhaps a reunion with Sarll will help him get back to his best.

2. Left-back: David Ferguson

Coming off the back of perhaps the most difficult season of his Pools career, Ferguson has entered negotiations with the club over a new contract. It would be a surprise not to see him back at the Suit Direct Stadium again next term, given that he is closing in on 200 appearances for Pools and was almost ever-present last season. Back in 2021, at the end of his first season in blue and white, he was named in the National League team of the season as Pools won

promotion after beating Torquay in a heart-stopping play-off final at Ashton Gate. Sarll spoke glowingly of the full-back, who turns 30 next month, at his first press conference and, with the new manager’s summer shopping list already considerable, it’s unlikely he’ll be keen to add to it by having to hunt for a new left-bac

3. Centre-back: Tom Parkes

Pools supporters will be hopeful that Tom Parkes and Luke Waterfall can continue to be a formidable duo come season’s end, along with the new manager, of course. Arriving shortly before Waterfall in January, Parkes made 19 appearances with one goal, greatly influencing his new team’s defensive performance. The 32-year-old is fearless,

strong, and has a good sense of game reading. He also seems at ease when the ball is at his feet. He has the added benefit of being left-footed, which fits in well with Waterfall’s right-sided style. The only issue might be that he had health issues while staying up in Scotland with Livingston. But he’s played in over 475 games in his career, and aside from being substituted out against Barnet due to a concussion, he

4. Centre-back: Luke Waterfall

Luke Waterfall’s presence was crucial to Pools’ significant defensive improvement in the second half of the season, much like Parkes’ was. He’s a genuine asset in both boxes because of his height and style of attacking the ball, and his ability to communicate well seems to bring out the best in everyone around him, especially young full-back Louis Stephenson. Just before the season begins, he will turn 34, and his experience will be invaluable. Twice he has led teams out of the National League and back into the fourth division, Lincoln and Grimsby. It wouldn’t be shocking if Waterfall received the armband because captain Nicky Featherstone, who turns 36 in September, recently inked a player-coach contract.

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