Got Your Number!
Well...that was the most original headline I could think of, so apologies for that rubbish piece of writing!
Back down to business and, with just a couple of weeks left before the new campaign gets underway, the newbies in Tangerine have discovered which squad numbers they will be wearing come August 9th.
First off is Marlon Broomes, whom will be wearing former Skipper Michael Jackson's No.5 shirt as of next season as he hopes to cement himself as part of Simon Grayson's back-line, alongside No.6, Ian Evatt.
Since the departure of Keigan Parker to Huddersfield after his contract expired, Liverpool loan signing Adam Hammill will wear the Scots old squad number of 7 - he will also be looking to make a name for himself not just to catch the eye of the 'Pool gaffer, but also Liverpool gaffer Rafa Benitez as he is certainly a player with a big future ahead of him if he applies himself well with the Seasiders.
While all the talk this week may be about the Gorkss/Nardiello/Rehman deal (or the still on-going Dickov situation!!), Andy Morrell has still to sign for the Tangerines for the up-coming season (or so it would seem) as his No.9 shirt from the previous season is neither taken by him, nor another member of the first team squad.
It must also be said however that, despite the apparent admission by Grayson in some quotes yesterday afternoon about Nardiello and Rehman coming in (plus cash) in a deal for Gorkss, neither of the QPR players have been officially unveiled as 'Pool players at time of writing, nor have they been allocated a squad number...at least as I said...officially.
However, Kaspars Gorkss' departure is all but confirmed by his squad number of 17 being taken up by former Southampton man, Jermain Wright.
New signing from Mansfield, Alex John Baptiste has been given the number 15 shirt, while Matty Gilks receives the number 21, formerly occupied of course by Rhys Evans... *cough*
Joe Martin and loan signing Steve Kabba are numbers 18 and 19 respectively (taking Paul Tierney and Phil Doughty's numbers) and Michael D'Agostino - looking to make a name for himself following his loan deal with Cheltenham - takes up Michael Flynn's old squad number of 28 as he begins his first full season with the 'Pool first team.
Finally, 'Pool's young guns that have been offered pro terms have also been allocated squad numbers -
Ash Bayliss - 30
Danny Mitchley - 31
Ross Lloyd - 32
Dominic Merella - 33
The rest of the squad have retained their squad numbers from the previous campaign.
N.B. It must also be noted that, for one reason or another, the number 11 shirt is also vacant (along with, of course, Morrell's number 9).