Billy helping the kids at Hartlepool United

Billy Paynter scores from the penalty spot  for Hartlepool United during their 7-0 victory at Billingham Town
Billy Paynter scores from the penalty spot for Hartlepool United during their 7-0 victory at Billingham Town

Billy Paynter is enjoying his role as the elder statesmen at Hartlepool United.

Paynter, 30, is the oldest player in the squad and he is competing with 25-year-old Scott Fenwick, Rhys Oates, 20, and Rakish Bingham, 21, for a starting spot.

And boss Ronnie Moore believes the addition of Paynter has already benefited the younger players.

Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s match at Spennymoor Town (KO 3pm), Moore said: “Target players are never prolific goalscorers.

“If people think Billy will get 30-odd goals, that is not why he is here.

“We need him to link up play and bring the midfield players in and Rakish, Rhys and Scotty Fenwick will all benefit from him. You need that mix of different strikers, rather than being predicable.”

The ex-Swindon Town, Doncaster Rovers and Leeds United frontman has been impressing Moore on the training pitch and he is enjoying his new lease of life.

“Healthy competition keeps players on their toes,” Paynter told SportMail.

“The last thing you want is for players to be comfortable. With four strikers, we are all itching for a start in that first league game.”