Andrew Davies was Matthew Bates’ number one transfer target this summer… and last. As if his defensive ability, leadership qualities and bags of experience aren’t enough for Bates, the Hartlepool United boss thinks this marquee signing has the power of persuasion when talking to other potential summer recruits.

Davies is by the far the most high-profile of Pools’ four signings ahead of their second campaign at National League level. A former England youth international and teammate of Bates at Middlebrough, the 33-year-old has played at the highest level north and south of the border, captained Ross County, a small club even by Scottish standards, to a League Cup triumph as well as proven himself as a canny Football League operator at the likes of Bradford City, also alongside Bates.

The Pools boss sees his new player as somewhat of eye-opener in the fifth tier, and does not think there will be a better defender at this level this season. Not only that, he is certain attracting someone of Davies’ capability can help the rest of his summer business along, too. “He was the main man I wanted this summer,” said Bates.

“I tried to get him here at the start of last season but it never happened.

“As soon as I got the job he was the one I wanted to get. And when we found out about his contract situation we pursued it.

“After lots of conversations we have finally managed to get the deal over the line.”

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