PAUL Hartley has been appointed as Hartlepool United’s new manager ending the club’s month long search for a new boss.

Hartley will join the club on an initial two-year contract with the club holding the option to extend his deal by another two years.

The former Hearts midfielder, who made over 600 appearances as a player, takes on his first managerial job in England after making the decision to leave part-time Scottish outfit Cove Rangers.

Last season, he led Rangers to the Scottish League One title losing just three league games. It was the fifth promotion of his career as a manager having previously taking up Alloa Athletic and Dundee. He has also spent time in charge at Falkirk.

Hartley succeeds Graeme Lee, who was sacked before the last game of the season, and is now tasked with spearheading Pools push up the League Two table for next season. He will bring Gordon Young with him as a coach who was once a youth coach at Sheffield United and an assistant manager at Falkirk and the Latvian national team.

The move initially represented a dramatic u-turn in the club’s decision making after Hartley was understood to be ruled out for the job just over a week ago.

After preliminary talks with a number of candidates, one of those being Hartley, reports in the Scottish media suggested that the 45-year-old had turned down an offer to become the manager in favour of staying in the dugout at Cove Rangers.

Pools said in their statement last week: “The club are disappointed some initial conversations were leaked to the press but we will continue to work diligently following a defined process to appoint our next manager.”

However, it's understood that talks were left open ended and it's since been revealed by Cove Rangers that Pools upped their offer to bring Hartley to the club who had initally decided to stay at the Aberdeen based side. The 45-year-old accepted the terms and has gone on to complete his switch to the North-East of England.

Hartley is currently on holiday but is expected to officially start his role the following Monday in ten days time with the Pools squad due to return for pre-season in the following weeks.