Versatile signing Danny Pugh is expected to star in central midfield for the Seasiders this season.
Pugh completed his move from Bury on Monday, having spent time with his new team-mate during last week’s training camp in Scotland, where he played 45 minutes in a central midfield role in the games against Dundee United and Peterhead.
Much has been made of the 33-year-old’s ability to play on the left side of defence and midfield as well as in the middle, as manager Gary Bowyer prepares for the first season without an emergency loan system to help plug gaps in the squad.
However, it appears Bowyer is keen to use Pugh’s experience in the middle, and the player himself wants to hold down a settled position in the side.
Asked if he expected a central role, Pugh told the club website: “It seems to be that way so far, so that is good for me. If I can lock down a position, that can only help.”
The new signing is now looking forward to Pool’s two home friendlies against Blackburn tomorrow and his previous employers Bury on Saturday week, with a visit to Tranmere Rovers sandwiched in between next Tuesday.
Pugh is relishing a new challenge and hopes to pass on his experience to the club’s younger players. He said: “I’m delighted to have finally signed. It is a big challenge for myself, with the club going down last season, but I think there are a lot of positives here.
“It is quite a young team but there seems a good mix. Hopefully I can pass on a little bit of experience to the younger lads. I think there is a lot to achieve here, promotion being the main one.”
Pugh has joined a youthful squad, whose manager has a pedigree for bringing young players through. Bowyer and right-hand man Richie Kyle both rose through the ranks after coaching youth teams.
Kyle told the club website: “It’s great that the manager has that background, so he understands what it takes and what’s needed to make that transition. He knows how to develop players as much as I do and we both know how important the academy is.
“Fans want to see home-grown players coming through. We don’t want them to just be part of the squad – we want them to be challenging and starting.”
Latest off the Pool production line is right-back Macauley Wilson and Kyle added: “Lads he knows have come through the system – like Luke Higham, Henry Cameron and Bright Osayi-Samuel – so that also helps massively.”