CARL MAGNAY, the former Hartlepool United captain, has left the club.

Out of contract this summer, the defender has been training with the first-team squad since they returned two weeks ago, but the club has now confirmed his exit.

Magnay missed the second half of last season with a knee injury and leaves Pools after 120 appearances since then boss Ronnie Moore signed him in 2015.

A return to his former club Gateshead is an option, while there has also been interest from Spennymoor.

Magnay has penned a farewell note to supporters on the club website in which he says he plans to move into part-time football and coaching and management.

He wrote: “It is with great sadness that I announce I have left Hartlepool United.

“It is regrettable that my season came to an end early and I was not able to play an influential role on the pitch in what is now known as my final season with the club.

“I have played for the club through arguably the toughest period in its history, I have felt the pain and frustration along with the fans but have faced the challenges head on with them.

“Whatever the opinions are of my time with Hartlepool, I can categorically state that whenever I stepped onto the pitch I did so with pride, particularly as captain, and always gave 100% whether my performance was good, bad or indifferent.

“It was my desire to get out on the pitch and represent the Club that ultimately cut my season short. In hindsight, I should never have set foot on the pitch in my last two appearances but I stand by my commitment to the team and it’s one of those things I will have to live with.

“I have seen that over 3,000 season tickets have been sold which is incredible support. I urge the great fan base to get behind this year’s group of players, to create a feel good factor and stick by them through what I’m sure will be an entertaining season. I sincerely hope it ends in success and the club and the fans can regain their rightful place in the Football League.

“I want to thank previous managers, coaches, players and, importantly, those who work in the office who do so much hard work behind the scenes, which is sometimes overlooked, for all their support and friendship over my four years with the club. I wish you nothing but the best.

“I now look forward to a new challenge in my career. I have a desire to move into coaching and hopefully one day management and will look to begin that journey alongside part-time football.’’

Pools are at Newton Aycliffe on Tuesday evening, with Hignett likely to give his first-team squad a run out as he has in the games at Billingham Town and Shildon.