Nicky Deverdics is “excited to get going” at Hartlepool United.
The first of Craig Hignett’s four main summer signings, Deverdics is set to pull on the blue shirt for the first time at Billingham Town tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
I’ve obviously got to do my best and earn my place in pre-season and it’s up to the gafferNICKY DEVERDICS
It is the opening friendly of Pools’ pre-season programme before Hignett takes the squad to Tenerife on Sunday for a week’s training camp.
Deverdics has arrived at Pools with a reputation as a goalscoring midfielder, having netted 17 times for Dover Athletic, who finished fifth in the National League, losing out to Forest Green in the play-offs.
Competition will be keen, to say the least, in the middle of the park, where Nicky Featherstone, Michael Woods and Lewis Hawkins finished last season as the central trio.
Throw in Brad Walker, who was Pools’ best player in pre-season 12 months ago, and former Brentford youngster Josh Laurent into the mix and Hignett is not short of options, not just tomorrow at Bedford Terrace, but during the season.
Deverdics though is looking to hit the ground running at Pools, not just to prove he’s worthy of a place in the League Two squad but to show he’s good enough to play in the Football League following a five-year absence.
The Geordie began his career at Newcastle and after being released by his home-town club he played for Gretna and Barnet before leading something of a nomadic existence from 2011.
“I’m just excited to get going,” he explained.
“I feel like I should be playing in the Football League – obviously I would say that myself – but now I’m just excited to prove it.
“I haven’t come here to be a bit-part player.
“I played every minute of last season for Dover, so obviously I don’t want to come here and just be sat on the bench.
“I’ve obviously got to do my best and earn my place in pre-season and it’s up to the gaffer, but obviously I’ve come here to play my part.”
The 28-year-old feels he operates most successfully in a middle two, but says he is adaptable.
“I do my best work centrally and I played in a two last season in midfield for Dover or I can play just off the front in between the gaps between the defence and midfield,” he said. “I’m versatile in that sense.”