From making his senior debut under Roy Keane, to scoring against Conte’s Chelsea, Jamshedpur’s Peter Hartley reminisces his best moments…
Jamshedpur FC have recruited English defender Peter Hartley this season who comes to India with playing for various clubs in England as well in the top division of Scotland.
Hartley, born in Hartlepool, England, had joined Sunderland FC’s youth system at the age of 11. He graduated through their youth system and was promoted to the senior team in 2006.
The experienced defender recalled his early days as a professional footballer and how he had made his senior debut under the tutelage of Manchester United legend Roy Keane.
“As a youngster, maybe 10 or 11-year-old, I played for Sunderland,” reminisced Hartley while speaking to Goal. “I came through their youth system and then made my professional debut when I was 18 under Roy Keane. We got promoted to the Premier League and then I went on loan to Chesterfield.
“I got some experience at Chesterfield and then returned to Sunderland again. Roy Keane had left by then and the new manager (Ricky Sbragia) offered me a new contract but my hometown club Hartlepool United offered me a contract too. I support that club because that is where I am from and the Hartlepool were in the League One at that time so it was an opportunity I was very happy about.
“Later I had moved to Stevenage, Plymouth, Briston Rovers and Blackpool. Then I moved to Scotland to play in the Scottish Premier League for Motherwell FC. Overall it has been a very good journey so far.”
The defender spoke about some of the most memorable moments of his career. Recalling one such instance, Hartley suggested how he had scored a winning goal while playing for Plymouth Argyle FC against Portsmouth in the second leg of the League Two play-offs.
The first leg had ended in a 2-2 draw and in the dying moments of the second leg, the defender had scored the winning goal to take his team to the final.
“One of my most memorable memories is when I was at Plymouth. We played against Portsmouth in a play-off semifinal. It was the 91st minute and I had scored a header from a corner to take the team to Wembley to play the final. That was a very proud moment to take 20,000 Plymouth fans at the game to Wembley,” said the English defender.
He also recalled playing against Antonio Conte’s Chelsea in 2016 in the second round of the EFL Cup while being at Bristol Rovers. Even though the Blues had won the tie 3-2, it was a very special game for Hartley as he had scored one goal for his team.
The Jamshedpur FC defender also suggested that he was the first English player to score against the Blues at home that season who were the eventual English champions.
“When I was at Bristol Rovers, we played against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They had a really strong team with players like (Cesc) Fabregas, (Ruben) Loftus-Cheek, Nemanja Matic and Pedro. They were very strong and we ended up losing the game 3-2, but I scored a good goal from a header. That was a proud moment for me. I think I was the first player in England to score against Conte’s team at Stamford Bridge,” said the 32-year-old defender.
Last season, the Englishman was made the captain of Scottish Premier League side Motherwell FC. He led the team to a third-place finish in the league table and helped the team to reach the Europa League qualifying round.
“I also captained Motherwell and led them to the Europa League and it was also a proud moment for me. Being captain of the club playing in two Scottish League Cup finals and also getting the club into Europe was a memorable season for me,” said the Jamshedpur star.