Hartlepool new boy glad to be off the mark

Padraig Amond
Padraig Amond

Padraig Amond took a mere 15 minutes to open his Hartlepool United account.

The Irishman was the National League’s golden boot winner last season after finding the net 37 times at Grimsby Town.

The first time a team plays, you are always going to be a bit rusty.

And Amond was in the right place at the right time on the hour at Billingham Town on Saturday when he applied the finishing touch after Nicky Deverdics looked destined to jink his way through and score.

“I’m happy to get off the mark – you don’t like having to wait a long time for your first goal,” he told SportMail. “It’s a pity the keeper’s tipped one over the bar as well, but it’s nice to have my first early doors.”

Amond, known to his team-mates as Podge, said the squad were pleased with their first action of the pre-season programme.

“The first time a team plays, you are always going to be a bit rusty,” he said.

“While we have trained well, games are something different and no matter what level a side you are playing, the first match is always a tough start.

“It was a decent start, we scored four goals, we were solid at the back and kept a clean sheet.

“There will be bigger tests to come, but it was a decent start.”

For Amond, it has been something of a short summer – his last game for Grimsby was on May 22, a couple of weeks after Pools had broken up for their holidays.

The 28-year-old was involved in the National League play-off final and FA Trophy final in May and admitted he, and fellow Mariners promotion winner, Toto Nsalia, have had to manage their breaks wisely.

“It’s only six and a bit weeks since I last played,” he explained. “Usually in previous summers I would have done a lot more work to be ready for pre-season.

“But I haven’t done as much this year, it’s been quite a quick turnaround.

“I’ve had a bit of time off before starting back on June 28 and I’m getting into the swing of it now.”