Matthew Bates makes promise to Hartlepool United after signing extended contract

Matthew Bates believes 'there is more to come' from him as he looks forward to his third season at Hartlepool United.

Monday, 23rd May 2016, 3:11 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2016, 5:13 pm
.PICTURE BY JOE SPENCE
.PICTURE BY JOE SPENCE

The experienced defender signed a new, improved and extended contract at Victoria Park on Friday.

To say Bates has enjoyed a new lease of life would be a trifle exaggeration.

But the 29-year-old, one of the wise heads in an exciting, young Pools side, says he has enjoyed the season and is looking forward to more to come.

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His injury woes appear to be behind him as well, having played 33 times in total, missing only eight of the last 35 matches.

“The last year or two have been good for me fitness-wise,” said Bates.

“I am enjoying my football and I do believe there is more to come from me.

“I feel comfortable at the club and was pleased to be offered a new contract and it was signed pretty quickly.”

Bates proved one of the mainstays of the Pools side this season and his partnership with Adam Jackson was a revelation

And the 29-year-old told SportMail that the heart of the defence would be where he would be staying, there will be no sojourns into midfield.

“Centre-half has always been my position,” said the former Middlesbrough star.

“I’ve played in midfield before and I did all right.

“But I’ve been a centre-half all my life and people can’t say I’m not.”

Bates believes some successful shopping excursions by Craig Hignett in the transfer market will make Pools a force for next season.

He says League Two is wide open and chairman, Gary Coxall, and chief executive, Russ Green, have the ambition to match that of the manager.

“It’s going to be a big summer in terms of recruitment,” said Bates. “A few players have been let go and there are holes to be filled.

“The gaffer, chairman and Russ will be looking to bring in quality to make us better.

“I’ve said this before but I believe this league is wide open.

“If the gaffer can make a couple of good additions to the squad, there is no reason why not.”

Hignett is currently looking to tie down the players he wants to keep at the Vic, with midfielder Michael Woods top of the list.