SIDNEY Schmeltz enjoyed a “whirlwind” week culminating in him helping inspire his new teammates to a dramatic point.
The 25-year-old Dutch winger had been out of football and living back home in Holland for the past eight months before Paul Murray brought him to Hartlepool United on trial, signing him on a free transfer on Friday.
He was handed his Pools debut as a second-half sub against Newport County on Saturday, with his new team trailing 2-0.
But Schmeltz’s positive and direct play helped inspire Pools’ comeback, and was involved in both home goals.
Although it is still early days, the winger made an instant impression and he is just grateful to be back playing after such a long spell out of the game.
“This time last week I wasn’t looking at football results on television any more, I was just feeling depressed.
“I hadn’t played for eight months so I am so happy and grateful to be here.
“I had a lot of time to think about what is important in life.
“A lot of time with my family and daughter and I think that spell was a good thing for me.
“It has been a whirlwind seven days but the lads helped me a lot, and took care of me.
“It has been easy to fit in, they are a good bunch of lads to be fair.”
Murray knew the 25-year-old from his time as Oldham’s first team coach, Schmeltz made 17 appearances for the Latics last season before moving on to Shrewsbury, where he played three times.
He has signed a short-term deal at Pools but if he keeps playing like he did on Saturday, the club will be keen to tie him down for longer.
The wingman insists he always believed his new side could get back into the game and he was keen to make an instant impact when he came on as a 64th minute sub, shooting with his first touch.
“I was excited but a little bit nervous before the game,” admitted Schmeltz.
“When I came on I just played my natural game.
“I am happy we got the point at least, but I thought we deserved more than that.
“That is my type of game, if I come on I need to be a threat and get at teams.
“I did that and the gaffer gave me some advice and instructions - it worked out this time.
“He said be positive and get in those little pockets and play your natural game, he knows what I can do.
“I almost scored with my first touch but it has to be on target - to be fair - and I need to work on that!
“I did what I needed to do and was pleased it had an impact on the pitch and off the pitch as well, for the fans.”