Hartlepool United Appoint Experienced Boss Following Managerial Swap

Hartlepool United have announced the appointment of former Woking and Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll after Kevin Phillips departed the club upon the end of his contract earlier this morning.

Hartlepool have endured a disappointing first season back in the National League, after being relegated from League Two. John Askey was dismissed after The Poolies found themselves in 17th place on the turn of the year which saw former Sunderland star Kevin Phillips pick up the pieces.

Finishing 12th place while closer to the relegation zone than the promotion places, Hartlepool made the decision not to renew Kevin Phillips’ contract, as confirmed via a statement on the club’s official website:

“Hartlepool United can today confirm that Head Coach Kevin Phillips’ contract has come to an end.

“Further, the Club Board has made a decision on the Manager appointment moving forward and will release more details in due course. 

“Kevin was appointed as Head Coach in an initial deal that took him to the end of the 2023/24 season.  

Club chairman, Raj Singh commented:

“Kevin has done a good job this season since coming in as Head Coach and he’s been great to work with. His remit upon appointment was firstly to make sure that the club retained its current league status and then from there to start looking up towards play-off positions.

“We had a difficult backdrop and precarious league position when the previous manager departed. We believed that Kevin was the right appointment to navigate through things and in the end he has helped comfortably ensure that the club stay away from any relegation concerns, which at one point were lingering.

“We put on record our thanks to Kevin and we all wish him the very best for the next steps in his career. He will always be welcome at Pools.”

Following this statement, Pools were quick to announce their newest appointment, with Darren Sarll confirmed only an hour later via statement.

Vastly experienced at the level, Sarll has managed over 300 games at senior level while enjoying two National League play-off campaigns with Yeovil Town and Woking – guiding the Cards to their highest ever finish in the 2022-23 season.

Upon taking his new role in the North East, Sarll said:

“I’m really excited to get started – the opportunity and challenge at the club is one I’m very much looking forward to. I’m coming here in order to win and we need to close that gap to the play-offs.

We won’t accept mediocrity, we need to challenge every season and that all starts from the dressing room. I can’t wait to start, creating a strong dressing room is the priority ahead of this pre-season.

“Over the years I have managed visiting teams at the Suit Direct Stadium and I am fully aware of the amazing passion the fans have for the club. The intensity they bring gives us a huge advantage and we must capitalise on this community’s passion.

I really want to create some lasting memories and be part of what is already an illustrious history. Supporters being proud of their town and team means everything to me.”

Writer’s View

This sudden swap has received much mixed reaction from Pools fans and neutrals alike. Phillips did a satisfactory job with Hartlepool which could have been built upon. The decision is extremely cut-throat although Sarll was one of the best available appointments.

Sarll is vastly experienced and could be essential in dragging Hartlepool out of a downward trajectory and towards the promotion places.

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