Murray out to extend his playing days

PAUL Murray wants to play on next season - and the Hartlepool United midfielder has been pumping iron in a bid to carry on his career.

The 35-year-old is a key part of Pools' side, playing the midfield holding role.

And, while he did think this could be his last campaign, some hard work at the club's Maiden Castle training ground has set him up to prolong his playing days.

"The stuff I do at Durham is really important,'' he said. "I've never really done weights but now I'm lifting big weights and I'm squatting 100kilos - and I'm only 67kilos myself.

"We've deigned a way in which I'm improving with his technique (John the fitness guy) - it's paying its dues."

Murray has impressed boss Neale Cooper - and equally the new boss has made an impression on Murray.

Pools have taken to Cooper's positive nature and the midfielder said: "He's a relaxed guy and he's got a good bit of banter. I said to Neale how well he has done.

"You have seen a lot of players have picked up their game.

"Whether they weren't doing it for the old manager or not I don't know?

"But whatever way he has done it people are playing better, even myself. Hopefully it's all looking up.

"You can't be all doom and gloom all the time and you've got to have that chilled-out time.

"You can't take things to heart as much at times and that's what it's like with Neale.''

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