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