Toto Nsiala may be built like a giant, but don’t let appearances fool you.
The new Hartlepool United signing is at Victoria Park because Pools play the beautiful game.
Nsiala says the club’s football ethic under boss Craig Hignett was at the heart of his decision to join Pools from Grimsby Town on a free transfer.
The 6ft 4in central defender is not your arceatypical central defender who wins headers and hoofs the ball miles.
“I’m probably better known for being on the ball than for headers!” said the 24-year-old. “ I like to get on the ball.
“I spoke to a couple of lads who played against Hartlepool, for Accrington and Newport, and they said they were a team who liked to pass the ball about.
“That’s what I wanted to hear. I don’t want to be joining a long ball team who are just going to boom it forward.
“I want to play football and I know that’s how the gaffer likes it.
“I’ve had a look at the pitch and it looks like a carpet, so I’m looking forward to getting on it and playing.”
Nsiala had been offered a new contract at Blundell Park following a superb season for the player and club.
The Scouser played 45 times for the Mariners last term, scoring once.
Grimsby had a momentous year, winning promotion to League Two following a 3-1 win over Forest Green at Wembley in the National League play-off final.
Not even a 1-0 defeat to Halifax Town in the FA Trophy final could dampen the spirits in North Lincolnshire.
Despite that, the DR Congo international insisted he was keen to move on to better himself.
Nsiala played a major part in Grimsby’s promotion and hopes to take his form into the new season and help the boys in blue to success.
“I’d like to carry on from where I left off at Grimsby,” he said.
“From what I’ve seen and heard, I do believe this club will surprise a lot of people and climb the table.
“It will be a challenge but one we should look forward to.”