Hartlepool United bring in ex-Newcastle United man to key role

Hartlepool United look to have resolved their physio situation with the assistance of long-serving Newcastle United man Derek Wright on a short-term basis.

Wright has spent the majority of his career with the Magpies before announcing his retirement from the position in the summer.

Hartlepool, meanwhile, have been without a physio for a couple of weeks after Michael Harding left the club to seek opportunities elsewhere following the FA Cup first round replay with Solihull Moors.

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Harding joined the club in the summer following Stephen Hayward’s exit towards the end of last season. Hayward had joined under previous manager Dave Challinor before leaving a staff role which has been particularly problematic to fill on a long-term basis for the club of late.

Derek Wright was long-serving in his role with Newcastle United (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The lack of a physio was evident in the recent 3-1 defeat at Barrow when the home representative had to assist Hartlepool’s players, including David Ferguson who was taken off early with an injury.

But the club appear to have resolved the issue for the time being with one of the most experienced physiotherapists in the game in Wright, who spent nearly four decades on Tyneside with the Magpies.

Wright announced his retirement from St. James’s Park in the summer but has been around Hartlepool’s training base this week to offer a helping hand to Keith Curle’s side.

“We’re on with the process but we’ve got a new physio on board who has come in for the short-term and has seen an immediate upturn in the players’ availability out on the training ground,” Curle told The Mail.

Hartlepool United have had a number of injury issues this season. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

“When you’ve got somebody like Derek Wright who’s had years of experience at Newcastle, who have been through a whole wide range of emotions as a football club as well, that experience is vitally important as well as then his hands on expertise which has already been benefiting some of the players.”

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Wright joined Newcastle’s backroom team in 1984, treating hundreds of players during his time with the club before announcing his retirement after 38 years of service with the Magpies.

"It hasn't been an easy decision to leave the club that I love, and which has been my life for nearly 40 years,” Wright told Newcastle’s club website when confirming his exit.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to work for Newcastle United Football Club and I would like to thank all of the managers, coaches, players, staff and fans who have made it such a memorable time.

"I am very happy to maintain my connection with the club, but I am looking forward to the future spending and enjoying time with my family. I will continue supporting my club as always watching the team go from strength to strength."

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Wright looks set to remain with Hartlepool until a more permanent figure can be found for the role and could have a busy job on his hands given the number of injuries currently plaguing the first team squad.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Hartlepool have also recently appointed a new club secretary in former Sunderland man Ray Murphy. Murphy spent time at the Stadium of Light during the clubs’ spell in League One.