New Hartlepool United signing Gus Mafuta on Craig Hignett's gesture that convinced him to sign

New Hartlepool United signing Gus Mafuta appeared for the first time for the club in Saturday’s superb 6-0 win at Shildon.

By Dominic Scurr
Sunday, 07 July, 2019, 17:00
Gus Mafuta warming up ahead of his first friendly match for Hartlepool United at Shildon (photo: Frank Reid).

The former Salford City midfielder played the opening 45-minutes and came close to scoring twice from distance only to be denied by two fine saves from Shildon goalkeeper Shaun Newbrook.

The 24-year-old achieved promotion with the Ammies last season but was convinced to come to the north east by Pools manager Craig Hignett.

“A big part of my decision to come to Hartlepool was the manager coming down to speak to me at my home,” Mafuta revealed.

“I really appreciated that. He came to me, expressed his interest in myself and everything he had to say was really positive.

“It’s really good what is in place at the football club. I don’t think there’s anything missing now and I don’t think there are any more excuses or not time for excuses anymore, the club has got to push on now.

“I had a lot of options at other teams but I felt like this was the best one and obviously the manager coming down and speaking to me was a pull in itself and he come across really well with the way he spoke about the club.

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“There’s a lot of good people at the club and they deserve the success as well and hopefully we can bring it to them.”

Mafuta feels Pools are geared up for success in the National League this term under Hignett.

“With all the stuff that’s gone on behind the scenes, we’ve just got to worry about the football side of things and that’s including the gaffer and I think he’ll be glad about that,” he told the club website.

“He’s had a couple of spells here where there’s been a few troubles but that’s all behind him and he can he can just solely focus on the team and improving things on the football side of things.

“I’ll be the first to say I’m not a big fan of pre-season but it’s got to be done and there’s no hiding away from it.

“You’ve got to put the work in and build your base for the season.”