PETER Hartley admits he is not yet the “complete captain” – but believes he has the attributes to develop into the club’s long-term leader.
The Pools-born defender was just 24 years old when he was handed the armband by former manager Neale Cooper in October of last season.
He retained that responsibility under John Hughes and will be hoping to again lead Pools when they kick off in League Two under new boss Colin Cooper.
And Hartley – who joined his team-mates for pre-season training yesterday – is confident that, in time, he will mature into the all-round skipper.
“It was an absolute honour (getting the armband) and being a local lad you dream about being captain of your team,” the 25-year-old told SportMail.
“I’m still learning the responsibility that comes with it and I don’t think I’m the complete captain yet.
“But there is still a lot more to come from me on the pitch, in terms of both my game and leading the team.
“I think I’ve got those qualities within me and that will come with experience.
“I learned a lot last season and arguably learned more because of how difficult it was.”
Hartley replaced centre-back partner Sam Collins as captain, and the pair again look set to form the cornerstone of the Pools rearguard next season.
And the junior member of that partnership says there was no issue with his senior.
“Credit to Sam, he spoke to me about the captaincy when it happened,” he went on.
“He said that it could really help my career and was good with me about it.
“I need to take that on board and use all of the advice I can about improving as captain.
“It’s a challenge and responsibility I enjoy and was a massive reward for me.”