GARY Liddle has revealed that “it was time to move on” from Hartlepool United – but has thanked the club for what was a “very good” contract offer, writes CRAIG HOPE
The 25-year-old took a week to mull over the offer of a new deal, but he informed Pools late last week that he would not be putting pen to paper.
That led to Saturday’s news that Liddle had been released after 21 goals in 284 appearances.
There was some speculation that the Middlesbrough-born midfielder had been offered a derisory deal and had therefore chosen not to sign.
But the player put the record straight in an exclusive interview, saying: “The offer the club made me was a good one – and that is both for Hartlepool United and League One level. If I’d wanted to stay I would have looked for the nearest pen.
“I always wanted to be offered a new deal, I was pleased with the terms and had no complaints over that, but I took a little time to think about it.
“In the end, I’ve decided that it’s the right time for a fresh start and it’s probably the right time to move on.
“I’ve been at Hartlepool six years now and I’ve had a fantastic time. But there comes a time when you’ve got to think about something new.
“All I’ve known is living in Middlesbrough and playing for Hartlepool – I want to experience something different, as a footballer and a person.”
Liddle has his sights set on the Championship: “I’ve got a very good CV behind me, so I’ll have to see what happens these next few weeks but I’d like to think I could play at a higher level and test myself there. I’m at an age, 25, where I need to look at everything. This is the right time to move on.”