Hartlepool United confirm new contracts for Gary Liddle and Nicky Featherstone
Hartlepool United have announced new deals for key promotion duo Gary Liddle and Nicky Featherstone.
Veteran defender and club legend Liddle has penned a new one-year deal, with Featherstone signing a two-year deal, the club has announced.
The futures of both had been uncertain following promotion, Pools were always keen to tie them down but there was interest from elsewhere.
In a major boost ahead of the start of pre-season on Thursday, their new deals have been confirmed.
Liddle said: "Coming back permanently a year ago I was determined to play a part in helping get this club back to where it was when I left all those years ago in 2012.
"As players and staff, we worked ever so hard for near a year to make that a reality and seeing the scenes of Bristol and the parade I hope it’s made what has been a difficult time recently for everyone a little brighter.
“Being in the football league is all I’ve known this football club to be, it’s had difficult times over the years since, so to get the chance to play and represent Hartlepool again in League Two is an opportunity I’m grateful to the manager and his staff for.
"Especially when I know the likelihood is we’ll have a huge amount of brilliant support back in the stadium to play in front of and I can’t wait for it to begin.”
Liddle made his second spell for Pools permanent at the beginning of last season after enjoying a short loan spell from Walsall. Liddle also celebrated making his 750th senior career appearance and captaining Hartlepool United for the very first time.
Boss Dave Challinor added: “We are all delighted to secure Gary for another season. He has played a significant role at this club for many years now and was certainly key to our success last season.”
Meanwhile, a delighted Featherstone added: "I am delighted to reach this agreement with the club. It’s certainly exciting times for everyone involved and we are looking to continue on from last season’s success.
“I have loved every moment at Hartlepool and despite it being such an odd season, seeing all the fans in Bristol, after sealing promotion, just makes all us eager to start the new campaign.”
Challinor added: “Since joining the club, Feaths has been involved in almost every game.
"He is massively important to how we play, and we are delighted to see him sign on for the next two seasons. He has been throughout the lowest of the lows and the highest of the highs with this club and to have him back in the Football League is massive for us.”
Featherstone made his first appearance back in November 2014 against Newport County and has since gone on to make 294 appearances for the club.
The midfielder started his career at Hull City making 8 appearances and then went on to play over 400 career games for Grimsby, Hereford, Walsall, Scunthorpe and Harrogate Town and Pools.