LUKE Molyneux has signed a permanent deal at Hartlepool United, after his release from Sunderland was confirmed.

The sprightly attacker spent the second half of last season on loan at Pools from the Stadium of Light and made a positive impression.

After spending the opening half of the campaign on loan at Gateshead, Molyneux gained valuable experience after progressing through the youth ranks on Wearside.

Molyneux joins Michael Raynes and Nicke Kabamba in turning their loans of last season at Pools into permanent deals.

He scored twice in 12 starts last season and added an extra dimension to the side under Craig Hignett.

And Molyneux admitted: “The gaffer has been a big influence on me. He understands me as a player so that makes things a whole lot easier, I think.

“I’m definitely excited to come back and kick on from where I left off and I just want to try and help us get back to where we should be, back in the League.

“I enjoyed it a lot last season, I was playing quite a bit and obviously the fans were helping in that so I can’t wait to get started.”

Speaking to the club website, Molyneux admitted his grandad has now swopped allegiance from Sunderland to Pools.

He said: “My mam and dad will be getting their season tickets in and will be here at every game and I will have quite a few other members of the family here too.

“My grandad has been a season ticket holder at Sunderland for 50 years but he’s decided to swap and come to Hartlepool now that I am here.“He says he is really looking forward to watching me so that’s a bit more motivation for me too.”