Zaine Francis-Angol has signed a new one year deal with Hartlepool United. The left back was a bit part player last season but is a valued member of the squad, according to The Northern Echo.
He is the seventh Pools man to extend his stay at Victoria Park following their dramatic promotion back to the Football League and, along with three new additions, Dave Challinor’s squad is starting to take shape.
Francis-Angol has never played in League Two before but his vast experience in the National League, Scottish Premier League and a brief spell in League One will stand him in good stead to acclimatise.
The versatile left sider only made six appearances for the club last season, but his ability to transition from left back to a more advanced wide role seamlessly, make him a good asset in terms of tactical flexibility. Challinor knows his skill set well and what he brings to the team having managed Francis-Angol previously at AFC Fylde.
The clock is ticking as Hartlepool look to assemble a squad to maintain League Two status next season, it is on the light side with three weeks to go, particularly in offensive areas.
Francis-Angol’s signature ensures some continuity in the dressing room and gives Challinor a different kind of option from the bench.
Trust is a huge part of any manager to player dynamic, with the challenge of their League Two return edging closer it is crucial that Challinor has faith in the cards he holds. The Antigua and Barbuda international definitely provides that and his retention will have a positive impact on the team.
Coaches and managers alike often speak of the support and attitude of fringe players in the dressing room contributing heavily to the side achieving their goals.
The contract extension gives Francis-Angol a second crack at the English Football League, one that he has earned after turning out 130 times for four different clubs in the National League grind.