Peter Hartley pens one final Blog for the Official Website following his move to Stevenage.
Hello and welcome to my final Blog here on the Official Website.
Obviously I moved on to Stevenage last week and it was a good opportunity for me to have a fresh start on and off the pitch but I won’t forget everything that Hartlepool United has done for me.
I owe everything to the Club really. When I arrived at The Vic I was an immature, inexperienced young pro but the Club gave the opportunity to play a lot of games and build my career.
I think playing alongside the likes of Antony Sweeney, Ritchie Humphreys and Sam Collins has really helped me a lot and made me more mature as a player and as a person. From that point of view I just owe the Club and the players a lot.
I remember when Mick Wadsworth came in to the Club as assistant to Chris Turner and I had just played a season at left-back when I’d had plenty of ups and downs. We brought Evan Horwood in that summer and Gary Liddle and Sam Collins had been the main centre-backs but I got in for the first game at Rochdale where we drew 0-0.
But then on the Tuesday we played Sheffield United and I was dropped – it really set me back and I remember wondering what I had to do to get in the side regularly. I worked relentlessly on my game from then on, I watched other centre-backs and tried to improve, and when I got my chance in the October time I didn’t look back.
It was a really tough decision for me to make to leave my hometown Club. It’s not just my hometown but it’s my Club, the one I came and supported when I was 11 and old enough to come and watch football. I’ve watched the team through the highs of a Play-Off Final to the lows of relegation, so it was such a hard decision to leave.
I want to try and kick-on in my career now; it’s a short career that you have as a professional footballer and I wanted to make sure I tried another life experience. Signing for Stevenage means I am moving away from home and experiencing life in a different part of the country which is something which appealed to me.
I’ll still be a Pools supporter though and I will always be willing the Club to do well. I heard the lads were unlucky on Saturday but in Colin Cooper they have a manager who is so determined and hungry to do well that I have no worries about the Club and the lads.
I’ll miss being around the Club, I have made friends for life there and people who I will still speak to every day. They haven’t just been team-mates, a lot of them are friends and they’ve pretty much all been texting or calling to wish me good luck.
For me now it’s just about getting my head down and working hard on the training ground. I’m the new boy at Stevenage and I will just keep myself to myself and try to earn the respect of my new team-mates through my hard work. They’ve made me really welcome and that makes things easier so I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.
I’m not sure I’ll be getting a Blog on their Official Website just yet, I’ll have to get my foot in the door first and see what happens from there!
Finally, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the fans who have supported me in the years I was at Pools. I’ve had fantastic backing all through my time here and I really appreciate that.
Good luck for the future.