HARTLEPOOL United new boy Nathan Luscombe admits he didn’t have to think twice about signing on the dotted line at Victoria Park.
Mick Wadsworth has moved swiftly to snap up the highly-rated 21-year-old, who was being courted by a number of clubs in England and Scotland ahead of his release from Premier League Sunderland.
Luscombe has spent the past few weeks on trial at Maiden Castle and SportMail revealed last week that Wadsworth was keen to tie up his signature before the end of the season.
The signing is a clear indication that the Pools first-team coach will remain in charge next year as he begins the process of revamping his playing staff.
And Luscombe told SportMail that the blue-and-white chief had been instrumental in persuading him that his future lay at The Vic.
“I’ve only been here a few weeks but Mick is already like a father figure to me,” said the Black Cats academy graduate.
“He’s been great with me. As soon as I found out I was getting released from Sunderland he was on the phone and said ‘come down and train with us’.
“And I’ve loved it. Mick seems like the sort of manager who will put an arm around you but will give you a rollicking if you need one as well, and that appeals to me.
“I’m just absolutely delighted to sign here because I’ve felt at home the past few weeks and the lads have been terrific with me.
“It’s a good, steady local club and they’ve done brilliantly this season - I honestly didn’t have to think twice when I knew they wanted to sign me.”
Luscombe has already appeared twice for Pools’ reserves, impressing in both the 3-0 win over Leeds United and Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against Hull City, both games being played at The Vic.
And that has given the Gateshead-born ace a taster for stepping out for Wadsworth’s first team next season.
“I’ve played at The Vic a few times now and, even though it’s the reserves, you still get that feeling of thinking I’d love to play here with the fans right behind you,” he added.
“I’ve watched the lads there the past couple of weeks as well and I can’t wait to be part of that next season.”
Luscombe admits that, after an injury-plagued two years, he expected to be released by Sunderland.
But the Geordie ace says that the elation of netting a Pools contract has quickly buried that disappointment.
He went on: “It was a big blow when I was told I was getting let go, but I expected it to be honest.
“I’ve had two knee injuries over the past couple of seasons and hadn’t really got a chance with the first team.
“Under Roy Keane a couple of years back it was good because he really liked to bring the younger lads through.
“I’d made a few appearances in the cups and had done well.
“Steve Bruce came in and I was injured, but I battled back and then got injured again.
“He was honest, though, and said he couldn’t guarantee me first-team football.
“So to come here and have a chance to prove myself and play regularly was something I couldn’t turn down - I just can’t wait for next season now.”
Follow Craig Hope on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CHopePoolsMail