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Exclusive reveals Hartlepool approach to Newcastle United for friendly match

4 years ago

Hartlepool have approached Newcastle United to see if they will play the cash-strapped club in a fundraiser.

An exclusive in the Hartlepool Mail says that the National League side would like to host a friendly game at Victoria Park and have asked their Premier League near neighbours about the possibility.

The postponement of the Spurs match on Friday 16 March means that taking into account the international break, the Magpies will have no football for three weeks.

Newcastle home to Southampton next Saturday (10th) and then not playing again until Huddersfield visit St James Park on Saturday 31 March.

At his pre-Liverpool press conference on Friday lunchtime, Rafa Benitez admitted that he was already considering the possibility of playing at least one friendly game during this enforced three week break.

However, he appeared to be thinking  more about somewhere abroad with a perceived lack of opportunities closer to home, with ‘other teams’ in the UK already playing.

Whether Hartlepool would fit the bill is an unknown – certainly it would mean Rafa wouldn’t have to take his squad travelling, though one question mark would be whether he would see the National League side being of a good enough standard for a decent workout.

One other problem is that no doubt the Newcastle boss was probably looking to fit a game in on that weekend of Saturday 17 March but Hartlepool are away at Fylde that day, plus they are home to Bromley the following Saturday.

However, the cash-strapped side have no midweek matches so those slots would be a possibility.

With Newcastle having minimal international players (unless maybe a surprise but welcome call up for Jamaal Lascelles?), it could mean a more or less full first team would be available to play Hartlepool if something can be arranged.

Their financial state is so dire and it would be great if Rafa and Newcastle United saw this as a plan that would work for both clubs.

Rafa Benitez asked about the three week gap with no matches:

“We are already analysing that.

 “We would like to play, maybe, a game, but the (other) teams are playing.

“And then we would like to stay here, but then maybe we have to go and move around, so you can guarantee you can play a game.

“We are working on that now.

“Still early – but we’re working on that.

“We want to continue playing competitive games so we can be sure everybody has match fitness.”


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