Tenerife trip will be ideal lift-off for Pools, says Bates

Hartlepool United defender Matthew Bates
Hartlepool United defender Matthew Bates
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Matthew Bates says Hartlepool United’s pre-season trip to Tenerife will be ideal to bed in their new signings.

Craig Hignett has yet to complete any major captures for Pools, though he has brought in three promising youngsters Ben Dudzinski, James Martin and Ben Pollock.

Pools have announced one notable coup – a training camp in La Caleta formerly used by Liverpool and Manchester City.

Hignett will take his squad there from July 10-17 ahead of a friendly with Premier League neighbours Sunderland on the 20th.

Bates is moving towards his third pre-season since joining Pools in the summer of 2014.

Two years ago he was in Spain under Colin Cooper, while 12 months ago Pools were in Catterick with the Army.

“A good pre-season will be key,” said the central defender. “It’s the gaffer’s first full season and it’s his chance to get his own ideas over to the players.

“I am sure there will be a few new faces to come into the squad and it’s a chance to get bedded in.

“I know the gaffer will be looking to and some quality to what we have already.

“A pre-season camp is very important in that respect.

“It’s good to get in new players and some new banter!

“There is a great group of lads here and we’ll all try to make sure the new lads all fit in.

“There are not many who have not fitted in and we’ll all be looking to work together on our camp.”

Pools will spend seven days on the island and have two friendlies planned against, as yet, unnamed opposition.

Bates says a good pre-season could act as a spur for when the real thing kicks off on August 6.

“A good start is important,” said the 29-year-old. “We had a good start last season but then drifted off.

“It’s not the be-all and end-all, just look at Northampton.

“They started winning and that breeds confidence and builds momentum.”

Pools have two friendlies arranged, that home date with Sunderland plus the Tuesday, July 26 trip to Salford City.