CRAIG Lynch finally feels like a “footballer” at Hartlepool United – and the loan man is hoping to extend his one-month stay at Victoria Park.
The 20-year-old admits that Pools fans may have wondered “Craig who?” when he joined the club from Sunderland last weekend.
But, as Lynch told SportMail today, he is out to make a name for himself at The Vic.
“I was so keen to get out on loan,” said the County Durham-born forward ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Bournemouth (kick-off 3pm).
“I’m 20 now and I have only played a couple of games.
“Last season all of the lads my age went out on loan and I was left there.
“It was frustrating and then I got injured which didn’t make life easy.
“So I need to get out and experience what it is like playing league football where every game matters.
“When Hartlepool came knocking on the door I didn’t think twice.
“When you come here you feel like a footballer.
“Come three o’clock on a Saturday you’re involved with the first-team and that’s what it’s all about.”
Lynch is open minded about his future and accepts that he needs to make an impression on the senior stage as soon as possible.
He went on: “I need to impress the gaffer here because it might open more doors in the future and hopefully I can stay longer than a month.
“I’ve got to impress the gaffer here because you never know what could happen down the line.
“There’s not many people know who I am and a lot of Hartlepool fans will be thinking ‘who have we signed here?’.
“But I’ve got to go out there and prove that I’m good enough to be here and good enough to play.
“I hope the fans take to me and I can give them something back.
“You can’t beat playing in front of three or four thousand every week rather than playing for the reserves or being sat in the stands.”
And Lynch - who made his Pools bow as a substitute during last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Carlisle United - is looking forward to getting to know his new team-mates during this weekend’s overnight stay on the south coast.
“I thought I’d already had my long trip down south – I was at Southampton with the reserves at the start of the season,” he laughed.
“But it will be ideal to get to know the lads and the gaffer.
“He has made me feel welcome straight away and it’s good to know he really wants me here.
“I’ve got to give him something back on the pitch now and I hope I get that chance this weekend.”