Carl Magnay would “love” to captain Hartlepool United in National League promotion bid

Carl Magnay.
Carl Magnay.

Carl Magnay would “love” to captain Hartlepool United for their National League promotion bid.

But the 28-year-old admits there are “four or five” candidates who could wear the armband this season.

I love trying to set standards and lead by example, but it could go to four or five players in this squad

Carl Magnay

Magnay was one of the players to lead Pools last season, along with club captain Billy Paynter and his deputy Nicky Featherstone.

The right-back skippered Pools against Sunderland in midweek and said he would be honoured should boss Craig Harrison to ask him to do it against Dover Athletic on August 5, and beyond.

Harrison will, naturally, be reluctant to naming a leader just yet - a captain must be an automatic or near-automatic choice.

“I feel we have lacked a bit of leadership in the past,” said Magnay, who was in the squad for today’s friendly at St Johnstone.

“We have needed four or five characters in there as opposed to one or two and I feel we have it this year.

“I’ve walked out there as captain against Sunderland, which is always an honour for me, I love the role.

“I love trying to set standards and lead by example, but it could go to four or five players in this squad.

“It will be interesting to see how it goes.”

Magnay, you would have to say, would be a serious candidate for the role, given he’s done it at Dunston UTS and against the Black Cats.

Scott Harrison had the armband at Harrogate Town and would prove a lead-by-example man.

Luke George skippered Chester last season in the National League, though injury has restricted his appearances thus far in pre-season.

At his previous club, The New Saints, Harrison had keeper, Peter Harrison, as his captain.

Whether Magnay has that asterisk against his name come the start of the National League programme is open to question.

What isn’t open to question is how positive he feels for the new season, both personally and collectively.

The former Chelsea defender suffered a serious knee injury last September which should have ruled him out for the season.

But showing grit and determination, he was back for the final weeks of the relegation battle after working hard under physio Ian Gallagher and pre-rehabilitation and conditioning coach, Stuart Parnaby.

Magnay admitted he was short of full fitness when he returned but felt obliged to come back in such grave circumstances.

“I rushed back a bit so the break [at the end of last season] came at a perfect time for me,” he said.

“I was probably only 75-80% when I came back so I was actually worried I might do it again.

“Even though I had worked hard and done strength work with Buster and Parns, it still it was too soon.

“But I felt I had to get back and do my bit.

“The time off gave it a nice period to settle down, but I only ended up having two weeks off - I was soon back in the gym to get a head start.

“I did feel the benefits of it against Sunderland, I felt as sharp as I have done in a long time.

“I am very pleased from a personal perspective.

“I think we have a great set of lads, a good balance in the squad, and I think we can do really well.”