‘HAUNTED’ HARTLEY SIGNS ON AT BORO
PETER Hartley admits he was ‘haunted’ by the ghosts of his Hartlepool past before making the switch to Stevenage on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old was voted Pools’ player of the year for the 2011-12 campaign but struggled to live up to the hype last term when the captain’s armband was thrust upon him as Pools were relegated to the basement division.
Hartley has now brought an end to his four-year stay with his hometown club and claims it was the right time to do so.
“Sometimes you have to think about what you want out of your career. I’m a hungry and ambitious person,” he said.
“This is a new challenge – it’s a new set of lads, a new manager, a new town and new ambitions, it’s what I need.
“I made so much progression two seasons ago at Pools and it still haunts me now how I did not kick on from that.
“I honestly tried everything but I just couldn’t get that level of form back on a consistent basis.
“Maybe the fact that I was from the town and lived in the town did weigh a little bit heavy on me.
“I had a lot of chats with the gaffer (Colin Cooper) and the chief executive (Russ Green) and they were brilliant about things. I think I need this new start to improve again and I’m excited by it.”
Having started out as a trainee at Sunderland, Hartley emerged as a key player at Victoria Park before his five-figure switch when Stevenage boss Graham Westley came calling.
“I came on leaps and bounds at Hartlepool and I’m so grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity to relaunch my career after I left Sunderland,” he added.
“It’s sad leaving the club that you have supported for a long time and I’ll forever be in debt to them.
“I wish them every luck for the future, the players, the fans and the management.”
MOVING ON: Peter Hartley