Striker Padraig Amond can’t wait to get started with Hartlepool United

Padraig Amond after he signed for Hartlepool United from Grimsby Town. Photograph by FRANK REID

Padraig Amond after he signed for Hartlepool United from Grimsby Town. Photograph by FRANK REID

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New signing Padraig Amond is returning to Ireland for a few days - but the hotshot can’t wait for his Hartlepool United career to start.

The red-hot striker left promoted Grimsby Town this week to join Pools on a two-year contract.

Amond will meet his team-mates for the first time next Wednesday when Craig Hignett’s squad reconvene at Maiden Castle in Durham.

But first it’s a few days in his beloved Carlow, south of Dublin, so the proud Irishman can see family and friends before an “exciting” season gets under way.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my family before getting back into the thick of things here,” he told SportMail.

“I love going back home, Carlow is quite small place but it’s a great place.

“But I can’t wait to get started with Hartlepool.”

Aside from his Grimsby team-mate, Toto Nsiala, he doesn’t know any of his new Pools comrades though he is a big fan of Nicky Deverdics who he played against last season when the midfielder was the star turn at National League promotion rivals, Dover Athletic.

“It’s a good squad here,” said Amond.

“Apart from Toto, I don’t know any of the players personally but I know they are good players, it’s a very exciting squad.

“I know about Billy Paynter, the career he’s had, and the lads at Grimsby have told me about Carl Magnay who was at the club before I joined.

“I’ve played against Trevor Carson before as well.

“I may not know the squad as lads but I know them as footballers.

“It’s a very good squad - I will get to meet them at pre-season training and the tour to Tenerife, especially, will give me the chance to really get to know the lads.”

There were a number of clubs interested in Amond, hardly a surprise given his 37-goal season for the Mariners.

He could also have stayed at Blundell Park where his feats had earned him cult status, not to mention taking the club back into the Football League.

However, once he met Hignett and his right-hand-man, Curtis Fleming, that made up his mind.

“I think it’s exciting for both sides,” he said.

“Once I met the gaffer and Curtis and listened to their ambitions about Hartlepool I was delighted to sign.

“It wasn’t an easy choice I had, it wasn’t just the two clubs involved.

“And it was very tough to leave Grimsby after the year I had there.

“At the same time, I was only being offered a one-year contract there and Hartlepool offered me two which gave me a little extra security.

“I’d like to think I did well for Grimsby.”