AS he takes on his first managerial role in English management, Paul Hartley believes the foundations are in place at Hartlepool United to create a winning mentality as he is tasked with spearheading a charge up the League Two table.

Hartley has signed a two-year deal at Pools and leaves his role as manager of Scottish Championship side Cove Rangers having led them to the Scottish League One title last season.

The former Hearts midfielder, who played over 600 games as a professional, has overseen five promotions of the course of his time in the dugout in charge of Alloa Athletic, Dundee and Cove Rangers along with a spell at Falkirk.

Hartley will bring his assistant manager Gordon Young to the Suit Direct Stadium who has previously been a youth coach at Sheffield United as well as assistant manager at Falkirk and the Latvian national team.

His appointment brings an end to a month long search for a new manager after the club relieved Graeme Lee of his duties before the final game of last season.

Hartley, who is currently on holiday, is expected to officially take the reigns at the club next Monday in ten days time.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be joining Hartlepool United" he said.

"We have enjoyed our time at Cove Rangers immensely and are extremely proud of our achievements there but this is an opportunity that myself and Gordon (Young) couldn’t turn down. The club has truly incredible support from its fans and there is so much potential for this club to kick on."

The appointment initally represented a U-turn in the club's decision making after it was understood he was ruled out of contention after reports leaked to Scottish media claimed Hartley had turned down the job.

However, it's been that after Hartley had chosen to remain at the Aberdeen based side, Pools came back with renegotiated terms to bring him to the North-East.

In an official statement on the Cove Rangers website, they said: "Having been given permission to speak to Hartlepool United, and having had lengthy negotiations with the EFL League Two club, Paul had initially chosen to remain at Balmoral Stadium. The English side then returned with a further improved offer which he decided to accept."

Hartley continued: “I’ve had a number of meetings with the chairman (Raj Singh) and the board to discuss and shape plans for how we will achieve success moving forward. It was very clear that the club has been transformed behind the scenes in recent years and there is a clear vision to be a well-run organisation, both on and off the field.

“I’m an ambitious manager and I would only move to a club that I believe can provide the platform for building a team that wins. As a manager, I want the supporters to know that I am a driven and hard-working person and we will produce a team that as a minimum always works extremely hard and is totally committed."

One of the first tasks for Hartley is to build a squad for next season. Five players have been offered fresh terms as Luke Molyneux, Timi Odusina, Mark Shelton, Gary Liddle and Jordan Cook are all out of contract in later this month.

“There is a lot of recruitment work to be done and we will begin that immediately, working closely with Head of Recruitment Chris Trotter." Hartley added.

"Gordon and I are both very excited to be taking the job on at Hartlepool and I would like to thank the Chairman and Board for giving us this opportunity.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to Cove Rangers Chairman, Keith Moorhouse, and the board, for their support during my time at the club and wish them all the very best in the future."