Darrell Clarke thrilled to take ex-Hartlepool United star Andy Monkhouse to Bristol Rovers

NEW CLUB: Andy Monkhouse. Picture by FRANK REID
NEW CLUB: Andy Monkhouse. Picture by FRANK REID
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EX-Hartlepool United midfielder Andy Monkhouse is looking to help his new club Bristol Rovers get back into the Football League.

The 33-year-old, who was released by Pools in the summer, had joined Conference Premier side Rovers.

He has teamed up with former Pools midfielder Darrell Clarke, manager of the club relegated from Sky Bet League Two last season.

When the experienced midfielder, with more than 300 appearances for Pools, was shown the exit door Monkhouse said he was saddened and disappointed.

But he is now looking ahead to his new challenge and has pledged to help old comrade ‘Trigger’ and get Rovers back into the Football League.

The Yorkshireman said: “I have spoken to Darrell a few times and, to be honest, he didn’t have to say too much to me because it didn’t take long to agree terms to join a club the size of Bristol Rovers.

“I’m happy to be here and can’t wait to get started.

“I’ve played against Rovers a few times over the years and I know what it’s like playing at the Memorial Stadium as an away player.

“I’m coming here with a fresh approach and hope we have a successful season and that we can get back into the Football League,” added Monkhouse who was speaking to the club’s website.

Clarke confirmed after his side’s pre-season defeat to Bath City on Saturday that he had verbally agreed a contract with Monkhouse and it was confirmed yesterday.

Clarke added: “I am delighted to bring in an experienced player such as Andy.

“Andy is a creative player who can score a goal or two and he’s had a very successful, career to date.

“The pleasing thing is that he wanted to come here for the right reasons and his experience will be invaluable to us.”

Monkhouse joined Pools from Swindon Town in January 2007 after spending a couple of months on loan at Victoria Park before then-boss Danny Wilson made it a permanent move for the Yorkshireman.

The versatile forward had appeared in 42 matches for Pools last season, the majority of which came on the left-hand side of midfield, scoring six times for Cooper’s side which made him joint second-top scorer.

In total Leeds-born Monkhouse played 331 times for Pools, scoring 52 goals and helped the club win automatic promotion to League One in the 2006-07 campaign.

Popular with the fans, he always boasted a good goal return during his spell at Pools, which he will be hoping to continue at his new club.

Monkhouse was released by Colin Cooper at the end of the season, with fellow first-team regular Simon Walton also being shown the door along with youngsters Zak Boagey and Greg Rutherford.

Meanwhile, James Poole and midfielder Antony Sweeney turned down new contract offers and also left the club.