MICHAEL Thubron has been handed the challenge of trying to guide Hartlepool Rovers back to North One East at the first time of asking.
The powerhouse forward will lead Rovers in Durham Northumberland One after taking over from friend and second row partner, Mark Power, who stood down at the end of last season.
Player-coach Alan Brown told SportMail that Thubron was the “natuaral choice” after impressing as stand-in skipper last season when Power was out with a back injury.
“Thubby is a natural leader,” said Brown. “He can communicate with people and I know last season when he was filling in for Mark that the players reacted well to him.
“But there is an expression about actions speaking louder than words.
“And the great thing about Thubby is he will lead by example and the players will follow him.
“He plays with a grit and determination I like and he will lead from the front.
“Ian Pinchen put his hat in the ring last season with his performances when he had the captain’s armband. I think his time will come but I’ve gone with Thubby for this season.
“It’s not going to be easy winning promotion but that’s our aim – the players have the bit between their teeth and we’ll give it our best shot.
“Hopefully the performances will come.”
Thubron is starting his third season at the Friarage after joining the club from Horden in summer 2009.
The 31-year-old played through the pain barrier of a shoulder problem for much of last season but Brown says he is now fighting fit.
“Thubby’s not missed a session and he’s looking good,” said Brown.