How Craig Hignett's desire to go the extra mile is already paying off - as Hartlepool United seal top transfer targets

Ben Killip has revealed how Craig Hignett's desire to go the extra mile saw him join Hartlepool United - despite initial doubts about moving to the North East.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 3:34 pm
Ben Killip has revealed how Craig Hignett convinced him to join Hartlepool United

The stopper penned a deal at the Super 6 Stadium earlier this week as Hignett moved swiftly to replace Scott Loach, who chose to move on as his contract came to an end.

And while Killip was a high-priority target for Pools, the man himself admits he needed some convincing to move away from his London base.

But having been left impressed by Hignett and goalkeeping coach Ross Turnbull's desire to clinch his signature - which included the pair travelling to London to meet the former Braintree ace - Killip was convinced.

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Michael Raynes spoke similarly about how a visit from Hignett proved key to him joining the club and the manager's approach seems to be paying off - with the stopper the second top target to be sealed the summer.

And his sales pitch appears to be the right one too, as Killip insisted it was a 'no-brainer' to join Pools.

“It’s a great feeling to feel wanted and I think that’s one of the things that attracted me,” he said, speaking to the club's official website.

“The manager and Ross both travelled to London to see me – that meant a lot to me and showed they wanted me so ever since that meeting I knew this was the right place for me.

“The way they sold the club, it was a no-brainer for me really. I’m delighted to be here.

“I didn’t want to rush anything and I wanted to make sure I got the right thing for me and the best place – and I think in Hartlepool United I have definitely got that.

“At first, I was thinking to myself that I didn’t want to move away from London but as soon as this came up I couldn’t wait to get away, move up here, start training and play football again.

“It’s a great set-up for me to go and thrive, do well and hopefully help the club get promoted.”

Killip starred for Braintree last season despite their eventual relegation, keeping ten clean sheets and earning an England 'C' call-up in the process,

And he is likely a familiar figure to Hartlepool supporters having put in a standout performance at Cressing Road last term.

That performance may well have alerted Hignett and Turnbull to his ability, while it also offered Killip his first glimpse of Pools' fanbase - which he insists was another key reason why he opted to make the move to the North East.

The stopper added:“We played against Chesterfield and Barnet, and that was good – but this was a Tuesday night, it’s Hartlepool, I didn’t know much about the league and then they had 500 fans down there.

“I just remember thinking to myself ‘how big is this club for them to come here on a Tuesday night?’ – I mean, it’s a five or six-hour drive.

“That was massive for me because I like to play for a club where there are good fans because they really back you and it pushes the team on.”