Carl Magnay relishing life at Hartlepool ahead of toughest game of pre-season so far

Carl Magnay in action for Hartlepool United during their 7-0 victory at Billingham Town

Carl Magnay in action for Hartlepool United during their 7-0 victory at Billingham Town

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Being settled off the pitch is helping defender Carl Magnay reap the benefits on it for Hartlepool United.

And the 26-year-old says there is a growing belief among the squad that the 2015-16 campaign will be a successful one for Pools.

I am more relaxed and settled off the pitch, which is beneficial to my game.

Carl Magnay, Pools defender

Moving back home was a key factor behind Gateshead-born Magnay’s decision to reject a contract at Grimsby Town and sign for Ronnie Moore instead.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s home game with Scunthorpe United (KO 7pm), Magnay told SportMail: “I am really enjoying my time at Pools.

“It is great to be back home, first and foremost.

“I am more relaxed and settled off the pitch, which is beneficial to my game.

“Everything about the club is great, it is a well ran club and I have taken an interest in the club for a long time being from the North East.

“It is a great to be a part of it.

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“I want to listen and learn and improve going into the new season.”

Magnay had been living in Leeds while commuting to Grimsby with a car full of teammates but when they were all released at the end of the season, he was left facing a long journey into work by himself next season.

In the end the chance to move back home and work under Moore as part of his new-look Pools side proved too strong an opportunity to turn down.

And he hasn’t regretted his decision.

Pools stayed up by the skin of their teeth last year after a season-long battle against relegation.

But Magnay - one of 10 summer signings - insists there is growing belief ahead of the new campaign.

Magnay added: “We haven’t had that sit down and had the target talk yet, we are still fairly early doors and it is about fitness at the moment.

“But the feeing among the players - after the big turnaround at the club - is that we have a good average age in the squad, around 25 to 26.

“That is great and it makes a big difference.

“There was a big gulf last year with old and young lads plus loan signings, so the side chopped and changed a lot.

“Having a settled squad will benefit us throughout the season.

“We want to start strong and look up as oppose to down, we are certainly looking to avoid the mess of last season.”

Pools’ first home game of the pre-season programme will be their toughest challenge yet against League One side Iron.

And Magnay - who is looking forward to making his debut at The Vic - believes the friendly will show just how far Moore’s men have come in a short space of time.

He added: “I am really looking forward to the game.

“The pitch looks in great nick and that will be beneficial to the way we want to play this season.

“It is good for me to get on the home pitch and get used to the surroundings before the season starts.

“It will be a great test for us tonight and will show how far we have come.”