Hartlepool United announce former Celtic, Hearts and Bristol City midfielder as their new manager

Hartlepool United have confirmed Paul Hartley as their new manager.

By Joe Ramage
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 10:29 am

Hartley takes over from Graeme Lee and ends a month-long search by the club to find a replacement.

Hartley heads to the Suit Direct Stadium from Scottish side Cove Rangers, a position he held for almost three years.

The 45-year-old enjoyed huge success at Balmoral Stadium, guiding the club to two promotions in three seasons including the Scottish League One title this year.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Hartlepool United have announced Cove Rangers boss Paul Hartley as their new manager. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But Hartley, who has also enjoyed great success as a manager at both Alloa Athletic and Dundee winning the title at both clubs, will now take up his first role in England with Pools.

Hartley enjoyed the majority of his playing career in his native Scotland spending the most time at Hearts, making over 150 appearances for the Tynecastle club.

The former midfielder would swap Edinburgh for Glasgow in 2007 as he moved to Celtic where he would earn Champions League experience.

Hartley retired from professional football in 2011 as captain of Aberdeen before stepping into management.

Pools will become Hartley’s fifth club as a manager.

Hartley will begin his duties at the Suit Direct Stadium on Monday when returning from holiday before his squad of players return for pre-season training on June 20.

And Hartley faces a number of immediate obstacles with a squad low on numbers and still a number of contracts to try and agree.

But the new boss is relishing the challenge ahead with Pools, admitting it was an opportunity both he and coach Gordon Young, who will be joining him at the Suit Direct Stadium, could not turn down.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Hartlepool United. We have enjoyed our time at Cove Rangers immensely and are extremely proud of our achievements there but this is an opportunity that myself and Gordon couldn’t turn down,” said Hartley.

“The club has truly incredible support from its fans and there is so much potential for this club to kick on.

“I’ve had a number of meetings with the chairman and board to discuss and shape plans for how we will achieve success moving forward.

“It was very clear that the club has been transformed behind the scenes in recent years and there is a clear vision to be a well-run organisation, both on and off the field.

“I’m an ambitious manager and I would only move to a club that I believe can provide the platform for building a team that wins.

“As a manager I want the supporters to know that I am a driven and hard-working person and we will produce a team that as a minimum always works extremely hard and is totally committed.

“There is a lot of recruitment work to be done and we will begin that immediately, working closely with head of recruitment Chris Trotter.

"Gordon and I are both very excited to be taking the job on at Hartlepool and I would like to thank the chairman and board for giving us this opportunity."

Pools chairman Raj Singh shared his thoughts on the appointment admitting he had been impressed by Hartley’s success to date as a manager and is looking forward to working with somebody he describes as a ‘proven winner.’

“There’s been an extensive process with a lot of candidates which has taken time, but we are very pleased to have now secured the services of both Paul and Gordon.

“We looked closely at what they have both achieved previously, how they work and their potential match with Hartlepool United.

“Paul has proven to be a winner throughout his career and he is clearly a very hard working and ambitious manager that has already had some remarkable managerial success.

“He is a manager and a coach and he has real clarity about how he and Gordon will take the job on. Gordon also comes with an excellent pedigree.

“We spoke to numerous people privately about Paul from across the game and unanimously the opinion was to just go and get him.

“We have discussed recruitment and how we will support Paul to improve the squad with a significantly increased budget this season, building on the work that has gone on over the past few years.

“As a board we are really looking forward to working with Paul and Gordon and I am confident the supporters will be right behind this appointment. I’m excited about what they can achieve with the team in the coming seasons.”