Nicky Deverdics is looking to put in the hard miles for Hartlepool United
Few players covered more miles than Nicky Deverdics last season.
And the goal-getting midfielder is looking to do the same again for Hartlepool United.
Deverdics almost led Dover Athletic to promotion to the League Two, the Kent club missing out in the National League play-offs.
But the 27-year-old made it to the Football League anyway after Pools boss Craig Hignett made him one of his four big summer signings.
Deverdics has enjoyed his opening days at the Maiden Castle training complex after taking it easy over the summer.
He played every minute of every Dover game bar one and skippered them in the majority of matches.
“I purposely didn’t do as much as I would normally in the off season because I had a long season,” said the Geordie who netted 16 goals in 2015-16.
“I played every minute at Dover, so I needed the time off.
“I did little bits and pieces [of training] and came back and felt OK at the start of pre-season.
“I feel all right.”
Deverdics already knew keeper Adam Bartlett and Carl Magnay from his younger days and Padraig Amond and Toto Nsiala from being National League rivals at Grimsby.
But he has got to know his other team-mates and said there is a positive mood in the camp.
“I got a good vibe from all of the lads when I first met them,” he said.
“I got told it is a good group of lads and they are.
“They seem quite close and everyone is on the same page and it’s been a good, positive start.”
Deverdics said that he is relishing the prospect of playing in Hignett’s side and may well get his first taste of that this Saturday at Billingham Town.
Pools visit the Northern League outfit for their first friendly.
“Craig Hignett is someone who I’m looking forward to playing for,” said the former Newcastle Academy product, who has been playing outside the Football League since leaving Barnet in 2010.
“He plays the way I want to play and he seems like a good character as well, which should help the season go along.
“To be fair, the manager really sold the club to me.
“I knew who the manager wanted to bring in as well alongside me and everything sounded really positive.
“It wasn’t really a big decision for me to come to Hartlepool from Dover.
“I was just desperate to get back into the Football League.”
Such is the player’s hunger for success with Pools, he rejected a lucrative offer, believed to be from National League promotion favourites, Forest Green, to come to Victoria Park.
“I had a really good offer to stay in the Conference but I had to get back into the league,” he said.
“Obviously it has taken me a while to get back, but I’m ready to get going again and prove myself.”