Padraig Amond aims to replicate Grimsby promotion success at Hartlepool United

Padraig Amond
Padraig Amond

Padraig Amond scored goals for fun for Grimsby Town last season.

And the plan at Hartlepool United? Same again!

Now it’s a new and exciting time for me, Hartlepool is a very ambitious club with a very ambitious manager

PÁDRAIG AMOND

The 28-year-old scoring machine has joined Pools on a two-year contract after firing the Mariners back to the Football League.

Amond found the net 37 times, with 30 coming in the regulation National League programme, and he is relishing the challenge of gaining back-to-back promotions.

“I got a taste of it last season and there is no better feeling,” said the Irishman. “That is what I’m here for, I’ll be doing everything I can to achieve that.

“I’d love to score a lot of goals and help us get promoted.”

Craig Hignett’s efforts to sign the former Accrington and Morecambe star were aided by the fact that Amond was offered only a one-year deal at Blundell Park, despite his heroics.

But the forward says the ambition of Hignett and right-hand man Curtis Fleming won him over quickly.

“Grimsby was great for me but I’d like to think that I did well for them,” he told SportMail. “I can’t thank [manager] Paul Hurst enough and his coaching staff and everyone at Grimsby for all that they did for me.

“But I’ve moved on now and I’m looking to replicate the form from last year here.

“I want to score as many goals as I can here to get Hartlepool promoted.

“There were times I didn’t want last season to end – it was a brilliant year for me and the club. I was so pleased to score the goals to put Grimsby in a position to go up.

“Obviously I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the rest of the lads, but I’d like to think I played my part in helping Grimsby get back in the Football League.

“Now it’s a new and exciting time for me, Hartlepool is a very ambitious club with a very ambitious manager.

“He likes to play football which I’m pleased about and that we’ll create a lot of chances.

“Obviously, as a striker, that’s what you want to hear, if you don’t create many opportunities you are not going to score many goals.

“I’m really looking forward to it.”

While Hignett picks the team and the tactics, you won’t need to be Mystic Meg to work out that Amond will be playing through the middle, with a potential partnership with Billy Paynter looking highly potent.

When the former Shamrock Rovers goal ace left Morecambe after two seasons for Grimsby in the National league, it looked a backward step. Far from it. For Amond, it was a step forward.

“I had the chance to stay in the Football League, but it was the right decision for me because I wanted to play as a striker,” said the player who is affectionately known as Podge.

“I played wide for Accrington and Morecambe the majority of my four years, but I was just happy to be playing and putting in a shift and try to help the team because that‘s the type of player I am.

“I thrive on chances – last season I said it’s luck that gets me in positions but someone said ‘it can’t be luck 37 times’.

“I’m looking forward to the new season in League Two and I hope it continues.

“If I can bring last season’s form into League Two I’ll be very very pleased.”

Amond becomes Hignett’s third major signing, the Pools boss describing it as a “real coup” – and it’s hard to disagree with the manager.

He joins midfielder Nicky Deverdics, who joined Pools from Grimsby’s National League promotion rivals Dover, who lost out in the play-off semi-finals.

“I know a lot about Nicky, he’s a great signing, when we played against Dover, he was their best player,” said the ex-Ireland U21 striker, who is even more familiar with the second Higgy signing – Toto Nsiala .

The defender was also a promotion hero at Blundell Park, starring at the back, while the forward from Carlow, south of Dublin, was banging the ball in the opposition net.

“This will be the third club I’ve played at with Toto,” he said. “He must be fed up, he keeps thinking he’s getting away from me and I follow him around.”