'There's something really special happening here' – Hartlepool United's new chief operations officer Stephen Hobin discusses plans for the future
Hartlepool United’s new chief operating officer Stephen Hobin has outlined his plans to lead the club into a ‘new era’.
Hobin arrived at Pools last month after leaving Cheltenham Town as head of commercial and operations.
But his first few weeks have been ‘a baptism of fire’ given club staffing issues and the quick turnaround following promotion to League Two.
Now the dust has settled somewhat, Hobin has the chance to plan for what will hopefully be a brighter future at Pools.
“I’ve worked in all four divisions of the professional game and I must say that the supporters are incredible and I didn’t realise just how much the club meant to the town until I came here,” Hobin told the club website. “I feel very privileged that I’m here to lead the club to the next phase.
“I’ve had 20 years of experience in football leading me to this position and I made a conscious decision to take a step back in leagues to take a step forward in position.
“I'll be discussing the future and visions for the club with the staff and what I expect from them and what they can expect from me. I’d like to form a really good working relationship with Dave and his team and join us together in a one club mentality."
Hobin is looking to utilise his position at Pools to work with the club’s various fan groups and supporters as he looks to appoint a supporter liaison officer in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to jump on our supporter base to take us to the next level,” Pools’ chief operations officer added. “It feels like there’s something really special happening here, I know I’m new to the football club but when I speak to people, it does feel like we’ve been through a dark time but we’re on our way back and it’s really special to be part of it at the moment.
He added: "The fans should help shape the football club because it does feel like a new era and we’ve got a brilliant opportunity as custodians of the club to really drive and develop the future.
“I just want us to look and feel better. While we are a little bit rough around the edges in terms of the stadium, I’d much rather we get things right in terms of how we communicate with our supporters, our customer service, our shop offering and our ticket offering.
"I’d rather have that than a shiny new stadium and staff that don’t give a damn. Hopefully the two will marry up at some point and we’ll develop the stadium over time with staff really proud and professional working here.”
In terms of his targets for Pools and what would be considered a success, Hobin concluded: “If we can become an established EFL club again not looking over our shoulder and worried about the drop but actually looking forward and seeing how far up the pyramid we can go again.
"The staff are happy, everybody feels like they’re valued and they want to develop, stay at the football club and learn and listen – in 12 months time if we’ve achieved all of those things I think that will be success.”