The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE -

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

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