Someone who has been through the mill at Hartlepool United is veteran defender Gary Liddle. 

The 34-year-old suffered League One relegation with Pools in 2006. They bounced back at the first time of asking with promotion the following year.

Now in his second spell at the club, Liddle has been instrumental in the team's ascent up the National League table where Pools ended up in 4th place.

Now as Pools look to mount a promotion push of their own through the National League play-offs, Liddle says he and his team mates are stepping up to the challenge. 

"There's only a couple of us that have been involved in play-off campaigns prior to today" Liddle admitted after Pools 3-2 win over Bromley yesterday.

"We've got some young lads in this team who haven't barely played any football.

"The likes of Cass, who obviously didn't feature today, and Timi and Johnno (Ryan Johnson) who's come from Kidderminster after being released. These lads have been immense.

"It's been a privilege to be part of it. I know the fans were here for the game but I think the lads have done brilliant to get to where they are without any fans.

"To play in front of them over the last couple of games has been an eye opener. Not for me because I know what they're capable of these fans.

"I think a few of the lads have really leant on the support we've had. It's been wonderful to get a couple of results in front of them."

Pools have set up a semi final against Stockport County next Sunday after the play-off eliminator victory at Victoria Park

The winner will face either Torquay United or Notts County who play each other on Saturday afternoon. The final will be at Ashton Gate on Sunday 20th June and attentions will turn straight away to making sure that date is in their calendar by the end of play against Stockport County.

"We've got a tough week ahead of us" says Liddle.

"I'm guessing we'll have a day or two off just to recharge the batteries but it all boils down to next week.

"It's a mini cup competition we've got now. It's a tough game at Stockport who have invested heavily in their squad.

"Different scenario for a lot of lads. We'll be playing in front of no supporters of our own. They'll have about 4,000 or 5,000 of their support so it will be different and another challenge. 

"It we can come through that then a great occasion beckons."