Fleetwood Town loanee Macauley Southam-Hales opens up about how he went from being in Joey Barton's first-team thoughts to joining Hartlepool United on loan
But a 12-week injury lay-off restricted the 24-year-old right-back to just seven minutes of first-team league football for The Cod Army this season before he opted to make the temporary switch to Hartlepool United for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.
While Southam-Hales’ injury was a frustrating one on a personal level, for Pools it proved to be a blessing in disguise as they were able to bring in the full-back shortly after losing Peter Kioso to Luton Town.
“Towards the start of the season, I came back pre-season and was doing well so I was in Fleetwood’s thoughts and pushing there,” Southam-Hales admitted.
“Then I got an injury which knocked me back for 12 weeks which impacted my fitness and confidence a bit.
“ Then I wasn’t getting games and having to play for the 23s so it was always in my thoughts to get out in January and get some games of men’s football again.
“I had the call about Hartlepool and my agent said it would be great for me to get back playing and enjoying football and that’s what I’ve done.”
The Welsh defender has impressed in his three matches so far with two National League team of the week appearances and a man of the match performance to his name.
He’s also making a habit of spectacular goalline clearances to help Hartlepool keep back-to-back clean sheets at Victoria Park.
And with 12 National League matches remaining this season, Southam-Hales is hoping to keep making an impact as the side look to step-up their play-off push.
“I haven’t been here very long but this club has the framework to be a Football League club and that’s clearly where it wants to get back to,” he continued.
“If I can help that happen then great. Three points on Saturday was massive but that’s going to be the case every week from here on out.
“We’ll take it game by game and see where we are come the end of the season.”