Manager on Grainger and Sweeney
United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us on Friday about the capture of midfielder Antony Sweeney and defender Danny Grainger as the preparations for the new season continue to gather pace.
"It's been a really long summer so it's good to finally get two deals done," he said. "We've had a lot of deals on the horizon which haven't gone through, for all sorts of different reasons, so it's good to get these finalised and announced.
"I think we've got ourselves two good lads. They're both men, who are experienced players, which is what we were looking for."
"Danny [Grainger] is 27 so is at a very good age," he told us. "He had a serious knee injury two seasons ago, which hampered him a little bit, but he proved again last season that he's a very good player.
"He's a local lad who is desperate to play for the club and I feel that is going to be hugely important this season. I think he'll put a lot of responsibility on his own shoulders and he'll want to do well. Hopefully that kind of attitude will spread through the group. He's a good defender who can play as a left-sided centre back, or a left back, and he's got great quality in his left foot."
"I've played against Antony [Sweeney] a number of times," he continued. "He's a strong midfield player who is 6'2", he gets goals and he goes box-to-box. He's got 60 odd goals in his career from the midfield areas and we're hoping he'll bring that form here with him as well.
"He had a little bit of a stop start season last year, because of an injury, but that was the first time he's been through anything like that. It's a fresh challenge for him. He's had nine years at Hartlepool, he's been a loyal servant to them and I've heard good things about his professionalism and the way he is around the building. His desire to want to do well is a huge part of what he's about and, as I've said before, we need people like that around the club. I'm looking forward to working with both of them."
"I spoke about character last season and I think a lot of the players didn't have the experience you sometimes need in tough situations to fall back on," he explained. "These two certainly have that.
"If you've been there and done it before it means you aren't phased by it, which is vital when you're in a situation like we were last season. Both players are coming in without any sort of hangover. It's a new start at a new club and they both want to come in and put their own mark on things. That will freshen the group up and hopefully this is just the start of what will be a run of very good signings for us."