Nicky Featherstone’s selfless comments show why he’s Hartlepool United's model professional
Nicky Featherstone has been through the worst of it at Hartlepool United, now he’s looking to cap off the ‘best season’ of his career with a promotion.
The 32-year-old was instrumental in Pools’ 3-2 play-off win over Bromley at Victoria Park on Sunday with two brilliant long balls forward, releasing Rhys Oates to score the opener and set-up Luke Armstrong for the second.
And with five goals and 10 assists to his name over the course of the 2020-21 campaign, it is statistically the best season of Featherstone’s career when it comes to goal involvement.
But the Pools vice-captain insists that individual records aren’t ‘massively important’ to him and the collective achievement of promotion is all that matters.
When being reminded of his career high goals record this season, Featherstone interjected modestly: “Four penalties mind.
“It’s easy to say but goals aren’t really important to me. The sole importance is the team and promotion – if I can chip in with a few goals, even from the spot then I’m happy with that.
"I’ve been put on set-pieces as well this season, I don’t know how many assists I’ve got exactly but I’ve put a few on for Rhys Oates and Ryan Johnson a few times.
"It’s nice to be involved in that end of the pitch but like I say it’s not massively important for me.
"What is important is that we’ve got players who understand the club and what it means to the fans and the place playing consistently.
"We’ve got a very good squad where if players do have to come out we can replace them with quality.”
Featherstone has also captained Hartlepool for the majority of matches this season in Ryan Donaldson’s absence. But it’s a role that he’s more than happy to take a step back from.
“It’s nice to wear the armband but I’m not the captain,” he told The Mail. “If we win the play-offs, Ry will be the one lifting the trophy.
"It has been nice for me personally to wear it during a good period but Ry is the captain and everyone respects him.”