If I can’t settle here, I won’t be able to settle anywhere.
So laughed Nathan Thomas after signing an 18-month contract to be Ronnie Moore’s first signing of the transfer window.
It might not send the shock waves of Swansea City selling Jonjo Shelvey to relegation rivals Newcastle United.
But it will have raised a League Two eyebrow, or two, that Hartlepool United had shelled out a few quid for the winger from Mansfield Town.
It was an undisclosed fee but must have been up in the five-figures.
The 21-year-old is young and gifted and looks an ideal ‘fit’ for Pools.
I’m looking to try to play regular football hereNathan Thomas
Moore needs talent, players who can create and excite and Thomas can do that.
And Pools is an ideal ‘fit’ for the former Sunderland youngster.
Thomas was still wanted by the Stags and boss Adam Murray was reluctant to let him go.
But the Middlesbrough-born player had two great motivations - regular first-team football AND a return home.
Thomas will have to earn his place, as he readily acknowledges, but to return to his native Teesside has made him a very happy chappy.
“It’s great to be able to come home,” he told SportMail.
“After I left Sunderland, I joined Plymouth and I loved my time there.
“It was my first professional contract and I can’t thank them enough for giving me a chance.
“Even though it was at the other end of the country, it was brilliant, it was the first time I lived away from home.
“After that I went to Motherwell, but I did not have the best of times there.
“I only played twice and fortunately Mansfield signed me in the summer.
“I enjoyed Mansfield and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to develop.”
Thomas is now looking forward to developing at Victoria Park, starting with tomorrow’s League Two clash with Wycombe Wanderers.
A happy player should make for a better player and the winger is confident he has made the right move.
Not only is he back on Teesside, he’s among familiar faces, old Sunderland colleagues, Scott Harrison and Trevor Carson, plus the likes of Lewis Hawkins and Brad Walker.
“If I can’t settle here, I won’t be able to settle anywhere,” he said.
“I’m looking to try to play regular football here.
“I played 21 times for Mansfield and had some games but I was in and out a bit.
“It can be a hard position to be consistent in but that’s what I’ll be looking for here.
“Creating goals is our job and I like to get crosses in but I also like to take people on and I like to beat my man.
“I’ve only scored two goals and I’d like to add a lot more if I can.”
His last game for the Stags was against Accrington, ironically the next awayday for Pools on Tuesday, while one of the best displays for Town was against tomorrow’s visitors Wycombe Wanderers.
“I played well against them,” he said.
“I’ll aim to do the same again if I get the chance to at Victoria Park.
“But I know I will have to play my way into the team.
“I just can’t wait to play, whenever that chance comes.
“I’m a Middlesbrough fan but I keep tabs on the local teams and I’ve followed Hartlepool and have watched them on TV lately.
“It feels great to be here and now I can’t wait to play.”