Hartlepool United confirm skipper switch for new National League campaign

Andrew Davies in action at Spennymoor Town.
Andrew Davies in action at Spennymoor Town.

Summer signing Andrew Davies has been named Hartlepool United's new skipper for the 2018/19 season.

Former Middlesbrough, Bradford City and Ross County defender Davies takes over the responsibility from Carl Magnay, who has handed the armband last summer by Craig Harrison.

New boss Matthew Bates has opted to go with the more experienced Davies, with Magnay also praised by the Pools manager.

Explaining his decision, Bates said: "I think giving Andrew the captaincy just freshens things up.

"Carl hasn’t done anything wrong but I spoke to him during the summer and made it clear it was nothing against him but told him I was looking to bring in someone with more experience.

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"Obviously the lads have that respect for Andrew as soon as he walks in to the club because of the career he’s had but he’s a great lad off the pitch too and will run the dressing room.

"A lot can be made of being the captain but we will need more than just Andrew being a leader on the field and it won’t mean that any of the other lads go back in to their shells."

The 33-year-old has impressed in pre-season since arriving from the Highlands, raising a few eyebrows with his clear competitive edge and vocal nature.

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Despite that, it was no easy decision for Bates to make Davies his skipper.

The manager knows he has leaders right through his Pools XI.

"If you look at this squad you can probably name quite a few contenders for the skipper’s job off the top of your head with Andrew, Carl, Scott Loach, Nicky Featherstone and Liam Noble," he said.

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"That’s good and it’s what we want because it’s about everyone stepping up to the plate and pushing the lads along as a group."

Magnay retained the armband for Pools' pre-season win at Spennymoor Town on Saturday, but is likely to hand over the responsibility this weekend when Hartlepool entertain Middlesbrough's under-23s at Victoria Park this weekend.

Pools kick off their National League campaign on August 4 with a trip to Maidstone United.