Friends reunited for Blackpool new boy Hartley

Peter Hartley
Peter Hartley
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New Blackpool signing Peter Hartley says the presence of some familiar faces at Bloomfield Road helped sway him when weighing up his options.

The defender became Pool’s second summer signing 10 days ago, when he agreed to make the move from fellow League One side Bristol Rovers.

The centre-back twice finished in the League Two play-offs with Plymouth Argyle, where he previously played alongside Pool duo Kelvin Mellor and Jamille Matt.

“The fact that I knew two or three of the lads here definitely helped,” Hartley said.

“I spoke to Kelvin and Jamille about the club and what the lads were like, and they couldn’t speak highly enough of the manager and the club itself, so that definitely was a factor.

“I know the type of character those two are. They’re great lads but, more importantly, they’re also good players as well.”

The centre-back joins the club on the back of a disrupted season in League One – he scored six times in 25 appearances before injury cut short his campaign.

Hartley, who hails from Hartlepool, previously made close to 200 appearances for his hometown club before joining Stevenage four years ago.

He added: “I want to play football and being able to do it at League One level again is something I’m looking forward to.

“I hit the ground running last season, I kept myself ticking over and I felt good. I got a little injury in January and it went from starting the season so well to not playing again which was a bit disappointing.

“But I’m fully fit now and ready to get going again.

“I’ve always been one who is there or thereabouts for playing 46 games a season. So after missing three months of the season for the first time in my career, I’m champing at the bit. I just want to play.”

The 29-year-old added: “I like to try to get a few goals but most importantly as a defender it’s about keeping clean sheets.

“But if I can contribute by scoring the odd goal, then that’s something I’ll be looking to do.”