Nicky Featherstone reacts to being named Hartlepool United captain ahead of League Two return

He was Dave Challinor’s clear choice.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 6:00 am

Nicky Featherstone will be Hartlepool United’s captain for the 2021-22 season as the club prepare for life back in the Football League.

While no internal conversations have taken place regarding the captaincy at Pools, manager Challinor confirmed to The Mail that the midfielder will be wearing the armband once again for the upcoming campaign.

Featherstone captained Hartlepool for the majority of matches last season in Ryan Donaldson’s absence. Following Ryan Donaldson’s departure to Morpeth Town earlier this month, the captaincy was officially vacant.

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Nicky Featherstone. Action from the Gateshead FC v HUFC game. Pre-season friendly. 24-07-2021. Picture by Bernadette Malcolmson

Featherstone has also captained Pools throughout pre-season when on the pitch and was the obvious fit ahead of the new League Two season.

“It’s a good feeling yeah,” the 32-year-old told The Mail. “The gaffer still hasn’t spoken to me about it but I was messaged [by someone else] and I saw it in the press since then.

"I don’t think it needed a proper conversation to be fair, I was probably expecting it to an extent but it’s a great honour.”

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As he did in the promotion final at Ashton Gate last month, Featherstone is now set to lead the side out for their League Two opener against Crawley Town on August 7 at Victoria Park. It will be the first time Hartlepool will play in front of an unrestricted crowd since March 2020 with almost all of last season being played behind closed doors.

“I was part of the squad that flipping got relegated [in 2017],” Featherstone added. “So to captain the team and lead it out for the return to the Football League on August 7 will be a big moment.”

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