PETER Hartley admits he wasn’t best pleased when Gary Liddle announced his decision to leave Hartlepool United during the summer – but tonight the pair will be reunited at Meadow Lane.
Liddle left Victoria Park on a free transfer in May after six years at the club.
Within weeks he had signed for this evening’s opponents Notts County, leaving behind a disgruntled room-mate Hartley.
“I admit I wasn’t happy at all when he left!” smiled Hartley, “He’s one of my best mates and was my room-mate as well.
“But he made his decision and wanted to try something new.
“He’d been at Hartlepool six years and he just wanted a change.
“He’d got himself into a routine and needed a fresh start.
“Sometimes you need that to get the best out of yourself.
“It was nothing to do with the lads here or anything, because he loved it.
“But fair play to him, he made his decision and I hope he does well this season.”
Although Hartley’s well wishes do not extend to tonight’s 90 minutes.
“It will be nice to see him,” the defender went on.
“I went away with him in the summer for a few days and he’ll be a friend for life.
“But there’s no mates when you’re on the pitch, that’s for sure.
“He’ll say the same and I know he’ll be well up for it.
“But so are we and it should make for a good game.”
Liddle’s exit left Hartley without a room-mate, although that void was quickly filled when Pools ventured to Holland on their pre-season tour.
“I thought I’d take Jack Baldwin under my wing and show him the ropes,” said the 24-year-old.
“But he’s a good lad and a cracking player as well.”