New Hartlepool United boss Graeme Lee determined to prove any doubters wrong over his lack of experience

Graeme Lee is determined to prove any doubters wrong over his lack of experience having been confirmed as the new manager of Hartlepool United.

Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:30 pm

Lee arrives into his first full-time role in management back at the club where it all began for him in football as a player in 1995.

Lee made over 250 appearances in the heart of the Pools defence before moving on to Sheffield Wednesday in 2003.

Having brought an end to his playing career 2012, Lee enjoyed a prolonged spell with Middlesbrough’s academy where he was tasked with nurturing talent for the club’s first team.

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Hartlepool United have appointed Graeme Lee as the new manager.

But while Lee accepts there will be some who will question his lack of experience ahead of stepping into the role, he believes he’s ready for the challenge.

“I could say any answer but I think they'll just have to be patient and understand,” Lee told The Mail.

“I’ve had 26 years in football. And for the last 10 years at Middlesbrough I’ve been dealing with players for the first team.

“I’ve worked alongside 10 years worth of Middlesbrough managers, so I’ve watched and learned to see what they bring.

“My previous managers that I’ve played for, I’ve always analysed how they’ve done things, good and bad.

“This is not just me jumping from 23’s football to first team football and it being new, I’ve been planning and it’s been preparation from myself for a long time now waiting for the opportunity.

“And now it’s come I know I’m ready.”

Lee is joined by another former Pools player in Michael Nelson as the quota of ex-players involved at the club continues to grow.

The new management team join the likes of Antony Sweeney, who has reverted back to his first team coaching role, and Dimi Konstantopoulos, the club’s goalkeeping coach, as players who have played for the club and now find themselves part of the management and coaching staff.

But again, Lee considers that a positive, insisting it can only be a benefit to have people who are familiar with the club and who have competed at League Two level.

“I see it as a positive. I see it as lads who know the club and know the fans and who have all played in this league,” said Lee.

“There’s been thousands of ex-Hartlepool players but it doesn't mean they’re going to be successful or do the right job, but we’ve done a lot of work.”

And Lee received the immediate backing of non-executive director Adrian Bevington, who was quick to reiterate both Lee and Nelson were appointed based on their credentials and not because of their links to the club.

“They’ve not got the job because they're ex-Hartlepool players,” Bevington explained to The Mail.

“They got the job because of their interview and because of their credentials and their ideas moving forward.

“The advantage for us is that they’re ex-Hartlepool players and they have a strong connection with the club and understand what it means to the town, so it’s an add on for us.”

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