Michael Ledger is fully prepared to make a big impact at Hartlepool United after going the extra mile ahead of his loan move.
The Sunderland centre-back has joined National League side Pools on loan until the end of the season.
It represents a chance of first team football for Ledger having been unable to force his way into the first team picture at Championship side Sunderland.
The 20-year-old, yet to make his Black Cats debut, spent last season on loan at Viking in Norway and has previously been a regular for the club’s Under-23 side.
Consett-born Ledger had been expected to sign last week for the Bank Holiday double-header against AFC Fylde and Guiseley AFC but talks over the finances of the deal held up the move.
He is expected to make his debut this weekend when Pools host Maidstone United.
And Ledger has been so keen to get started at The Vic that he has watched Pools’ last two home games and even travelled with the team to watch Monday’s win at Guiseley.
“I’m really excited - obviously now it’s happened and it’s official I can’t wait to get started,” said Ledger.
“It’s been ongoing for a few weeks and now we’ve got the green light it’s all about getting in the team and playing some games.
“Playing senior football is different from Under-23s and reserve team football but I have been out on loan before so I know how demanding it can be so I will be ready when I am asked to step in.
“As soon as I heard of the interest I wanted to sign. It’s a local team and a bit closer to home than my last loan move – I won’t need to get a flight this time!
“I am here to try and help get Hartlepool some results and also improve my games and to learn – I think this is the perfect place for me to do that.
“I have played at The Vic a couple of times – I played for Sunderland here in the Checkatrade Trophy last season – I know all about the passion of the fans, I can’t wait.”
to be playing for them.
“I have spoken to the manager and he seems really good and has been keen for me to sign so that means a lot when you know that he really wants me to be here.
“I know a few of the players in the squad too so that will help me settle in but I know there a lot of north-east lads here so I know I will fit straight in.”