Exclusive: ‘There are always two sides to every story’ - Padraig Amond reveals all about his Hartlepool United exit

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“I was hating football. Playing for Pools sucked the enjoyment out of the game for me.”

Padraig Amond has opened up about the stormy end to life at Hartlepool United.

For a person like me to get to the point where I am wanting the manager to take me off to put me out of my misery is not right


But the striker, speaking exclusively to SportMail, has hit back at claims he bailed out, refusing to play for a club he put his “heart and soul” into.

The Irishman yesterday penned a deal with League Two outfit Newport County, leaving Victoria Park under a dark cloud.

Manager Craig Harrison revealed that last weekend Amond was not in the right frame of mind to travel with the team for the Bromley loss.

And since then a storm has been brewing at Pools, with fan anger against the frontman growing by the day, with talk of strikes and the like rife.

The 29-year-old, though, says he never refused to play for Pools, nor did he ever refuse to travel. He even returned to training on Monday, making the 2 1/2 hour journey from his home in Manchester only to be told within five minutes of his arrival at the club’s Racecourse training facility that a bid had been accepted by the club and he was free to leave.

Put simply, the player admits that he wants to play at the highest level he can, for as long as he can.

And Amond says life at Pools, particularly for the final nine months, even more acutely under Dave Jones, was starting to turn into his version of footballing nightmare.

“The only thing I am really unhappy with is the manager saying I made myself unavailable to play or travel,” he said.

“If I refused to play why did the club not fine me two weeks wages? I would never do that. No matter how unhappy I am, why would I not turn up at work?

“I’m being painted as a snake, the villain in all of this. I just wanted everyone to know my side of things.

“My conscience is clear – there are always two sides to every story.

“Any footballer wants to play at as high a level as they possibly can.

“I told the manager that over the phone at the end of May. I was honest from the start.”

As far as weeks go, the last seven days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for Amond.

The striker says the feeling he had after the Chester game was worse than suffering relegation at the end of last season. And after a phone conversation on the drive home with his family, he decided it was best for him to move on.

But before he could reveal his plans to Harrison, he says the manager had got the ball rolling on his departure.

While it was unexpected, Amond admits he was not disappointed to hear that Newport were keen to take him, having been thwarted in their attempts earlier in the summer.

Amond reiterates that he trained last Thursday, and arrived at the club’s team bus ready to depart on Friday morning.

“I was hating football. Anyone that knows me knows I love football. I watch it 24/7,” he explained.

“For a person like me to get to the point where I am wanting the manager to take me off to put me out of my misery is not right.

“I was so unhappy. Relegation hurt but sitting in the dressing room after Chester was 100 times worse for me.

“I was harming the team. I was working hard and trying but it was not working for me.

“I know myself that I could not hit a barn door for Pools this season. If I was the manager I would not have picked me – in the formation he wants to play I would have picked Cass (Jake Cassidy).

“I always had the feeling he was trying his best to shoehorn me into the team. To me, he was picking me on reputation, not how I was playing.”

Amond continued: “After the Chester game I knew I needed to change. I needed a fresh start because things were not working for me, or the team at Hartlepool.

“I was hating football. Playing for Pools sucked the enjoyment out of the game for me.”

On day one of pre-season Amond handed in a transfer request to Harrison and Pam Duxbury.

He says he was later told by the club that he would not be leaving.

Disappointed, he withdrew that request prior to the Sunderland pre-season friendly, and was actually verbally offered a new deal at the club. This never materialised.

“If they would not let me go then for the security I would sign a new deal with only 10 months left. But I am glad it never ever got offered, because I would have been signing it for the wrong reasons,” he said.

His time at Pools certainly didn’t end the way Amond would have wanted, but that does not mean he leaves with any bad feeling.

A two-year contract at Newport, with an option of a third year, is too good a deal to turn away from for a lad heading into his thirties.

But he wishes no ill on his former club.

In fact, he is desperate to see them win promotion back where they belong.

“I gave absolutely everything for Hartlepool. I really care about the football club. I want them to get promoted. I want them to win the league,” he said.

“It was just about a new start for me.

“The new manager at Newport was on the bench they day we went there last season and he saw I was on the bench, too.

“He told me that the Newport players were delighted I wasn’t playing and I’d be in his team every week.

“It is good to be wanted, and I knew he genuinely liked me as a player.

“It’s sad the way it has ended but I want Hartlepool to do well. It would be great to be playing them again next season in the league, if we don’t get promoted, that is.”