New Pools loan signing Louis Rooney has lifted the lid on how his move from one end of the country to the other went right down to the wire on Deadline Day.
The 20-year-old front man had been on the bench for Plymouth Argyle in their 2-1 defeat at rivals Yeovil Town on Tuesday, unaware he was about to be caught up in one of the most frantic transfers of the night.
Rooney has revealed how he was on the team coach waiting to set-off back to Plymouth when he got the call that his move to Pools was on – and that he better get a move on.
In the end, with the help of Yeovil Town, Pools and Plymouth were able to get the paperwork through to the EFL with exactly 17 seconds of Deadline Day remaining.
“I wanted to get the loan move done and I knew there was something going on a week or so ago,” Rooney explained.
“After the Yeovil game it was the last thing I was expecting to happen but I am glad that we got it all sorted and it went through in the end – even though we only had 17 seconds to spare!
“It came to a point that I just had to get ready for Tuesday’s game because I knew I was on the bench and the focus had to be on that rather than on what might happen with the loan move.
“We didn’t get the result we wanted and I was on the coach waiting to leave – then the gaffer came on and told me I had to get off quickly because the loan was going to happen.
“We used Yeovil’s offices and we were sat waiting for the email and then got everything signed really quickly so thankfully it got through in time!”
As loan moves go, Rooney’s relocation to the North-East is probably among the most long-distance deals completed in this country during the January transfer window.
It’s a fuel-guzzling 387 miles from Argyle’s Home Park to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium and that’s the journey the striker had to make on Wednesday afternoon ahead of his first training session on Thursday.
“It’s crazy how far it is but I was willing to go anywhere to try and play football,” he insisted.
“The distance didn’t really faze me at all; it was all about playing football and getting minutes on the pitch.
“I didn’t realise how long the road from Plymouth to Hartlepool was until I drove up on Wednesday – I left there about 3pm and didn’t get up here until about midnight, but everything was sorted for me at the hotel so it wasn’t too bad.
“I’m just really looking forward to it now. I know Liam Donnelly from Northern Ireland Under-21s and I also know Nathan Thomas and Lewis Alessandra from when they were at Plymouth.
“Knowing three of the players will help me settle in and now I just want to get down to playing.”
Of course, fans may need little introduction to Rooney given that he scored twice on his Pilgrims debut on the final day of last term as Pools were beaten 5-0 in Devon.
His brace included a stunning first goal – a sensational volley which dipped over Trevor Carson and in to the top corner of the Pools net.
“It was my only appearance of last season and it was one of those games where I thought I just had to go for it and give it my all.
“To end up scoring that goal says it all – the whole day was an unbelievable experience for me, being a Plymouth boy scoring twice for Plymouth and helping us win 5-0, it couldn’t have gone any better.
“I think I owe Hartlepool at least two goals and if I can score one like I did against them that day then it will be even better!”