Andy Monkhouse: My disappointment and sadness to be leaving Hartlepool United

FINAL APPEARANCE: Andy Monkhouse in action against Plymouth. Picture by FRANK REID
FINAL APPEARANCE: Andy Monkhouse in action against Plymouth. Picture by FRANK REID

ANDY Monkhouse today spoke of his disappointment that his Hartlepool United career is over.

The talented winger was released by Colin Cooper at the end of the season, with fellow first-team regular Simon Walton also being shown the door by the Pools boss, along with youngsters Zak Boagey and Greg Rutherford.

It ended eight “happy” years for the Yorkshireman who said he was a “bit surprised” that he was not offered a new contract.

But the 33-year-old told SportMail he still has a lot to offer and was looking to find a new club pretty quickly.

“There were quite a few emotions for after I was told I was going,” he said.

“Some of it was frustration and anger but mainly it was disappointment and sadness.

“I’ve had a great time at Hartlepool over the last eight years and I’m just really sad that it’s over.

“Playing for Hartlepool has been a big part of my life and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

“I’m a bit surprised that I was let go – I think I had a fairly solid season and done a good job for the team.

“But the gaffer obviously wants to go in a different direction and I’m not part of his thinking.

“That’s what happens in football and I will have to take it on the chin.

“Every manager wants to be a success no matter what club or league they are in.

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“But it’s not as easy as that.

“He has some very good young players but are they going to play 40-46 games a season?

“Young players need help and need experienced players alongside them.

“He’s let me and Simon go but if he can get someone in with experience to go with the young players he’s got then I don’t see why Hartlepool can’t do well.

“I wish Hartlepool well, I’m not going to say a bad word about anyone and I hope if I get to come back to play here I’ll get a good reception.”

Monkhouse should not have too many problems finding new employers – he has regularly played 40-times plus and has weighed in with his fair share of goals and assists.

“I’ve had a few positive conversations with certain people already,” he said.

“Some might say ‘you’re 33, you are getting on a bit’ but I fell great.

“I played 40 games this season and think I did all right – I believe I can do someone a good job.”

Monkhouse joined Pools in the autumn of 2006, Danny Wilson bringing in the winger from Swindon Town.

Wilson had a fine team at his disposal but many observers believe the Leeds-born player was the catalyst behind the club’s incredible record-breaking unbeaten run and promotion back to League One.

“I’m not sure about that,” smiled Monkhouse.

“But I certainly enjoyed being a part of it and it was one of the highlights of my time here.

“When I first came, I was on loan and we went on that crazy run when we couldn’t stop winning.

“Getting promoted was fabulous, but it was more than that.

“The team spirit was great and I loved the day we went and won 3-0 at Darlington – that was special.

“After we were promoted we had all those seasons in League One which was brilliant for the club, playing the likes of Leeds, Southampton, Charlton and others.

“It was disappointing last season to be relegated – it was not good enough.

“They’ve been right behind us though this season and we’re sorry for how it all ended.

“At one stage we looked good for the play-offs but the season ended very disappointingly.”

Monkhouse had a final word for the supporters, adding: “I’d like to thank everyone for my time at Hartlepool, players staff, everyone.

“The fans have always been great to me and I’d like to thank them for their support.”