Hartlepool United boss delighted to sign Newcastle talent

Nicky Deverdics at the Vic. Picture by FRANK REID
Nicky Deverdics at the Vic. Picture by FRANK REID
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Craig Hignett “is made up” to have brought Nicky Deverdics to Hartlepool United.

The attacking midfielder became Hignett’s first main signing after moving from Dover Athletic on a free transfer yesterday.

I’ve had him watched on a number of occasion

Young prospects Ben Dudzinski, James Martin and Ben Pollock had already agreed to join Pools after successful trial periods at the end of last season.

But Deverdics is no prospect, the 28-year-old is the real deal according to his manager.

“We identified early on the players we wanted,” Hignett told SportMail.

“Now, we wiil see them starting to sign and I’m made up Nicky is the first.

“Nicky was classed as the best midfielder in the National League by a lot of people.

“He’s very creative and has a good left foot.

“Goals are the thing we need and Nicky brings them.

“I’ve not got to see him play myself, obviously the geography of Hartlepool and Dover does not help!

“But I’ve had him watched on a number of occasions and I’ve seen dvds of him playing.

“He’s the right age, he’s in his prime, he’s as hungry as we are.

“Nicky’s the perfect fit for us.”

Deverdics has experience of the SPL at the ill-fated Gretna and played in the Football League at Barnet.

But since leaving Underhill in 2010, the Newcastle-born midfielder has been around the block a little, including spells in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Deverdics has turned his career around at Dover, where he has been for the last two seasons, including a run as skipper since November.

He bagged 16 goals for the Whites, who finished fifth in England’s fifth tier, making the play-offs, losing to Forest Green.

“After Barnet he went off the radar a bit, but we’ve chatted about that and he explained why,” said Hignett.

“He got himself a move to Dover and he’s been outstanding for them.

“Of the reports we’ve had, he’s been the best player, and in the Non-League paper which we always read, he’s had rave reviews.

“He’s a goal scorer and he’s a leader, he’s the sort of player we want.”

Pools were heavily reliant on Billy Paynter last season, so much so that the second top scorer was on six goals, nine behind the skipper and talisman.

Hignett’s preferred midfield formation of Nicky Featherstone, Michael Woods and Lewis Hawkins all performed well for Pools.

But the trio’s combined goal tally is only six and bringing Deverdics into contention the manager hopes will raise that.

The Geordie, who began his career at hometown club Newcastle United who released him at the age of 18, scored 27 times in the last two seasons at Dover.

Hignett will be adding further quality to the squad in the coming days and weeks and goals will be on the menu.

“We’ve been working hard for weeks now, speaking to players and agents,” added the manager who has been ably assisted by first-team coach Curtis Fleming.

“We’ll start to see them signing.”