We’re proud to unveil of Pools Team of the Decade as we look back on some of the finest players to pull on the blue and white stripes over the last ten years.
We asked supporters on Twitter to nominate their favourites for each position and there was plenty of competition across the pitch.
Here’s how it all unfolded and your first look at the Pools Team of the Decade…
Goalkeeper: Trevor Carson
Trevor joined Pools in the summer of 2015 and he very quickly set about underlining the reason he was regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the lower leagues. He won a triple Player of the Year award during the first of his two seasons at The Vic, during which he moved closer to an international debut for Northern Ireland.
Right-Back: Peter Kioso
Peter has become a firm fans favourite at Victoria Park since being plucked from non-league in the summer of 2018. His combative, no-nonsense style of defending and ability to get forward too have made him very popular during his two seasons with Pools.
Centre-Back: Jack Baldwin
Jack was plying his trade for non-league Faverhsam Town and considering going to university, when Pools took a chance on him during the summer of 2011. The composed centre-back – who also operated in midfield – went on to make 85 appearances before earning a big-money move to Peterborough United in 2014.
Centre-Back: Peter Hartley
Peter turned down the offer of a new contract at Sunderland to seal a switch to Victoria Park and sign for his hometown club in 2009. He went on to spend the next four years with Pools, making 181 appearances, many of them as captain, and forming a solid centre-back partnership with Sam Collins.
Left-Back: Evan Horwood
Hartlepool-born Evan was a summer 2010 signing following his release from Carlisle United and he quickly established himself as the Club’s number one left-back. He was a real threat going forward, creating plenty of chances for his teammates with his crossing and set-piece delivery whilst also chipping in with six goals during his 138 appearances.
Right Wing: Nathan Thomas
Prised away from Mansfield Town in the January 2016, Nathan went on to make a big impact for Pools and scored 14 goals in 56 appearances for the Club. A tricky winger with devastating pace and the ability to produce moments of magic, Thomas held his own Goal of the Month competition in September 2016 when he scored each of the five goals scored in the month!
Centre-Midfield: Nicky Featherstone
Nicky has now got 237 appearances under his belt since joining the club as a Paul Murray signing in October 2014. Since then he has produced a number of cultured displays in the Club’s engine room to become a regular under each and every Manager to have taken the reins. He’s enjoying an excellent current campaign too, playing a big part under new boss Dave Challinor.
Centre-Midfield: Antony Sweeney
Club legend Antony Sweeney currently sits third in the Club’s all-time appearance list having played for Pools an astonishing 444 times, firing 62 goals along the way. He has twice been the top scorer from midfield during the last decade and remains a big part of the Club today, working as a First Team Coach alongside new boss Dave Challinor.
Left Wing: Andy Monkhouse
Andy arrived at Pools relatively early in the 2006/07 campaign and went on to play a key role in promotion from League Two. Used predominantly on the left flank, Monkhouse’s flair combined with a swagger quickly endeared him to the Pools faith. He scored 62 goals in 331 appearances and was twice top scorer during the past decade.
Striker: Billy Paynter
Billy arrived at Pools in the summer of 2015 and his leadership on and off the pitch was recognised when he was immediately installed as the new Club Captain. He went on to hit the net in his first three games in a Pools shirt and finished his debut season as top scorer, earning big popularity with the Club’s supporters.
Striker: Luke James
Luke came through the ranks at Pools and burst on to the scene in devastating fashion in December 2011 when he made a First Team debut at just 17. A few weeks later he wrote his name in the Club’s record books when he became the youngest-ever scorer with a spectacular goal against Rochdale. He top scored and won Player of the Year in 2013/14 before earning a move to Peterborough but returned to The Vic permanently last summer.
Manager: Ronnie Moore
Who else? Ronnie will forever be remembered by Pools after he engineered an incredible escape from near-certain relegation during the second half of the 2014/15 campaign. The Club was languishing ten points shy of safety going in to the New Year but Moore used his vast experience, tactical knowhow and ability to get the best out of his squad to achieve something incredible. It led to an emotional last day at Carlisle during which Ronnie got in the fancy-dress spirit to celebrate the remarkable achievement with an army of travelling supporters. Legend.