Hartlepool United defender Gary Liddle looking to make loan from Walsall permanent following impressive second debut

Gary Liddle impressed with a Man of the Match display on his second Hartlepool United debut against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 8:00 am
Gary Liddle of Hartlepool United in action during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Sunday 22nd December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Gary Liddle of Hartlepool United in action during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dagenham & Redbridge at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Sunday 22nd December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Over 13-years after his initial debut for the club, Liddle returned on loan from Walsall to be thrust straight into the Pools starting line-up for his first match in the National League.

And the 33-year-old was a calm and assured presence at the back as he helped United keep their first league clean sheet under Dave Challinor at Victoria Park.

Liddle is on an initial one month loan from The Saddlers but the Teesside native has made his targets clear regarding his next permanent move.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“To sign here would be a big positive,” he admitted.

“If an opportunity arises that gives me a bit of security or a bit of happiness then I’d take it.

“I love the area and being here, I hate being away from my family. But the main thing is about being at a football club where you’re playing and feeling wanted. I’m just looking forward to making the most of the opportunity.”

After earning promotion in his first season at the club, Liddle made over 200 appearances for Pools in League One. Now he’ll have to adapt to a club two divisions lower from the one he left in 2012.

“There’s not getting away from the fact that this isn’t the club that it once was when I left when it was in League One,” he added.

“Over the course of coming back six or seven years later, they’re now two leagues below so it’s been up and down. It’s a new era with Dave coming in and hopefully the only way is up.

“I don’t see this as a final move or anything, if the loan deal ends and isn’t extended then I’ll go somewhere else.

“It’s a short career in football and I’ve got a lot of friends who have played into their late 30s and I’ve just turned 33 so I certainly don’t see myself as an old dog.

“I’ve played a lot of games and hopefully there will be a lot more to come, hopefully it’s at Hartlepool United but whatever the future holds, I’ll certainly be playing football.”