Jonathan Franks shelved his continental dream for Hartlepool United's promotion push and a taste of '˜home'
Jonathan Franks shelved his plans for a continental switch in order to return '˜home' to Hartlepool United.
Speaking to Mail Sport, the in-form winger has exclusively revealed that he opted against moving abroad, preferring to return for a second coming at Victoria Park.
“It was not a difficult decision,” said Franks on making the switch.
“There were a few other things going on in different countries but the family wanted to come home.
“We had a few discussions with the manager – he wanted to sign me and I wanted to come here.
“We spoke about going abroad because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“But when it came to it we have lived away from home for a long time and it has been nice to come back home and play for a club I know, and who know me too.”
Middlesbrough youth product Franks left Pools in the summer of 2015, opting to take his career down a different path, up in the Highlands with Scottish Premiership side Ross County.
After two successful years north of the border with the Staggies, Franks had offers to go elsewhere, with teams in Scandinavia keen to snap him up.
But the pull of Pools was too strong to turn down.
“There is just something about Hartlepool,” said Franks.
“I have been here before, I know what the fans want, what they demand – that’s all helped.
“I always give 100%, sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it doesn’t.
“I couldn’t have imagined I would get off to such a good start.”
‘Good’ is an understatement when describing Franks’ start to life at Pools this time around.
It might have taken him two outings to get off the mark but since then he’s never stopped hitting the back of the net.
But Franks is not a player who will rest on his laurels.
“Recent weeks have been going well for me and for the team,” he said.
“But we have to continue to drive each other on.
“Young, old, experience or inexperienced. Every player has to take responsibility and encourage each other. I think we do that at Hartlepool.
“When you do get a bit older you help the youngsters out a bit but everyone has to do that.
“We stick together in the dressing room.
“The squad is going to get us through the season – there is no doubt about that.”
One of the big pulls of signing for Pools was the fans, admits Franks.
More than 200 turned up at the Matchroom Stadium on Saturday lunchtime for a game live on BT Sport.
Franks admits he never fails to be blow away by Poolies loyalty.
“Every game they are great,” he said.
“It takes a lot of time,a money and commitment. They come home and away.
“We could hear them out on the pitch. It gave us that 5-10% extra bit of energy out there, when things got tough.”