FI­NAL THIRD

Ply­mouth’s Peter Hart­ley on his switch to the com­men­tary box

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joshua Richards

WATCH out Gary Neville and Jamie Car­ragher, for Ply­mouth Ar­gyle de­fender Peter Hart­ley is gun­ning for your seat in the Sky Sports stu­dio.

At 26 years old, Hart­ley is not ready to hang up his boots and pick up a mi­cro­phone just yet.

But, af­ter 90 min­utes in the com­men­tary box call­ing Ply­mouth’s re­cent draw with More­cambe, the for­mer Hartle­pool and Steve­nage de­fender is con­vinced his fu­ture lies in the me­dia.

Great

“It was great,” Hart­ley said of his BBC lo­cal ra­dio ap­pear­ance, dur­ing time out due to a hip in­jury.

“It’s some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. I did it a few times when I was up north, but noth­ing on this scale.

“I re­ally en­joyed it. I had to bite my tongue a few times to stop my­self from swear­ing, but I would cer­tainly do it again if I was asked. It’s some­thing I will look at do­ing in the fu­ture, when I’ve stopped play­ing.

“I like lis­ten­ing to Jamie Red­knapp, Gary Neville and Jamie Car­ragher, all ex-play­ers of course, and the in­sight they can give, the things they spot that per­haps oth­ers can’t, is so ben­e­fi­cial to view­ers.

“I didn’t re­alise how dif­fi­cult it was to be a com­men­ta­tor. There were times when I was sit­ting si­lent, so the other com­men­ta­tor would ask me a ques­tion to get me in­volved and you’re on the spot a bit, while try­ing to watch and con­stantly find ob­ser­va­tions to make.”

Though Hart­ley has his fu­ture mapped out, the present is what’s most im­por­tant to him, with a south-west derby against Ex­eter City to come next week­end.

Pil­grims fans have been de­lighted by Hart­ley’s pres­ence back at the heart of their de­fence af­ter a spell on the side­lines.

Back-to-back wins over Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley and, in mid­week, pro­mo­tion ri­vals Wy­combe, in which Hart­ley net­ted, have fol­lowed since his re­turn, with two clean sheets thrown in for good mea­sure.

Ri­vals

And with the chance to end a 15-year wait for a win at St James’ Park and a dou­ble over their bit­ter ri­vals on of­fer next week, Hart­ley is rel­ish­ing the oc­ca­sion.

“I’ve been to New­cas­tle v Sun­der­land der­bies, but I’ve not ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing to the ex­tent of the Ply­mouth v Ex­eter game ear­lier this sea­son as a player, it was dif­fer­ent class,” he added.

“The at­mos­phere was just un­be­liev­able and to win 3-0 was fan­tas­tic. I think, as a team, we de­served a lot of credit for that, be­cause we hadn’t started the sea­son too well.

“We were ex­pected to hit the ground run­ning at Cam­bridge on the open­ing day, but lost that game. But beat­ing Ex­eter so early in the sea­son, and so con­vinc­ingly, in front of 11,500 peo­ple gave us be­lief.”

DIF­FER­ENT AN­GLES: Peter Hart­ley in ac­tion for Ply­mouth and in the com­men­tary box

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