Moving back home was a key factor behind Carl Magnay’s decision to reject a contract at Grimsby Town and sign for Ronnie Moore’s Hartlepool United.
Magnay was a fan favourite among the Grimsby faithful and admits it was a “tough” decision to turn down the chance to stay at Blundell Park.
But the Gateshead-born defender hopes the move will reap dividends for him on the pitch.
The 26-year-old had been living in Leeds while commuting to Grimsby with a car full of teammates but when they were all released at the end of the season, he was left facing a long journey into work by himself next season.
In the end the chance to move back home and work under Moore as part of his new-look Pools side proved too strong an opportunity to turn down.
“I had a great relationship with the fans at Grimsby but it was not purely about football,” Magnay told SportMail.
“I had to take into account my situation off the field as well.
“I am a North East lad and knowing Hartlepool as I do I have had many friends who have played here and I have always admired the youth set up and the coaches here.
“It was just the right fit for me, at the right time but it was a tough decision to leave.
“I know playing in the Football League is a big factor for a lot of players but the size of Grimsby and the way it is run, you feel like it is a Football League club anyway.
“So, a lot of it was down to how well it fit with me.”
Magnay, who played 42 league games for the Mariners last season scoring one goal, was one of 12 players offered a new contract by Paul Hurst this summer.
But he turned it down to sign for Pools.
“I was doing a hell of a lot of travelling,” added Magnay.
“I was in a car sharing situation this season but a lot of the lads had been released and I would have had to do that by myself.
“Signing for Hartlepool gives me a chance to move back home and that was important too.
“I was living in Leeds, where my missus worked, but we will be moving back to the North East.
“I will be a lot more settled and hopefully that will help me on the field.”