Pools new boy Stephen Wright reflects on debut delight

Stephen Wright in action. Hartlepool United V Exeter City 2-0 03-09-2011. Photograph by FRANK REID

Stephen Wright in action. Hartlepool United V Exeter City 2-0 03-09-2011. Photograph by FRANK REID

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STEPHEN Wright admits he was like “a kid on Christmas Eve” ahead of his shock Hartlepool United debut on Saturday.

The 31-year-old was still a free agent on Friday morning before Mick Wadsworth moved to secure his services in time for the visit of Exeter City.

Fast forward 24 hours and Wright was marshalling the Pools backline as they enjoyed a clean sheet during the 2-0 win which lifts them to sixth in League One.

And the ecstatic Scouser, who has been training with the club in recent weeks, told SportMail: “It’s great to be back.

“It was like Christmas Eve on Friday night and I can’t tell you how pleased I was to sign – I had more energy than the kids!

“I knew Mick was trying to get something done and I was happy to wait. There are a lot of footballers who can’t get a club.

“I have had to wait and the frustrating thing is that teams think you are after megabucks to sign for them and it’s not the case – all you want to do is play football. At the top level there’s players who won’t move on big wages and that’s what hurts the most – you just think ‘show a bit of guts’ and play.”

Wright hadn’t kicked a competitive ball since February 1, of this year, but that didn’t show during a faultless 90 minutes.

But the former Sunderland defender admits his seamless integration was helped by having trained with his new team-mates for the past month.

“I’ve been in a while with the lads and know them, which helped, but training isn’t the same as a match,” he said.

“You do get to know the players and what they are going to do, but you can’t beat playing.”

He added: “Did I play well? It’s up to others to say that, but I cannot ask for any more than the clean sheet and a 2-0 win.”

SEE Monday’s Mail for full story ...