Hartlepool United’s squad takes shape

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HARTLEPOOL United’s jigsaw for next season is almost complete after keeping hold of star man Gary Liddle.

All first-team coach Mick Wadsworth needs to do is find a couple of new pieces to bring to Victoria Park.

Pools have now re-signed all the out-of-contract players on their retained list after exercising their option on an extra season for Liddle.

The midfielder may not have followed Neil Austin, Adam Boyd, James Brown, Sam Collins, Scott Flinders, Peter Hartley, Andy Monkhouse, Paul Murray and Antony Sweeney in agreeing new terms.

Like the above-mentioned players, Liddle’s current contract was coming to its end. But when Pools sign stars on two-year deals they often insert a clause for an additional season.

And with Liddle failing to agree new terms, Pools have taken up that option to keep him at the Vic.

Liddle has proved to be something of a Mr Versatile since his move from Boro to Pools in 2006.

Initially, he was played in his preferred midfield role before joining Sam Collins in the heart of defence in the 2009-10 campaign, the pair forming an excellent partnership.