Jake Hastie has no Rangers regrets as he hopes to emulate Robert Snodgrass and prove a point at Hartlepool
It wasn’t that long ago that Jake Hastie, along with close pal David Turnbull, was being talked about as the future of Scottish football.
Hastie moved in the summer of 2019 with Turnbull leaving the following year after recovering from injury.
Since then Turnbull has broken into the Scotland national team and is a reliable performer for the Hoops with an eye for goal.
Hastie on the other hand has had loan spells at Rotherham, back at Fir Park, Partick Thistle, and Linfield. The last time he played more than 20 games in a season was on loan at Alloa in 2018/19, which is why he’s all the more determined to make the most of his fresh start at Hartlepool United in England’s League Two since new manager Paul Hartley convinced him to sign on.
“As soon I heard what he had to say I wanted to come. I’m enjoying it so far; it’s a fresh start and I’m looking forward to it, getting away. I think the English game suits me a wee bit better too. I’m looking forward to it,” Hastie adds.
A four-year deal with Rangers produced just two senior appearances: 58 minutes against Gibraltar outfit St Joseph’s in the early rounds of Europa League qualifying, and brief cameo off the bench in a League Cup win against East Fife. But Hastie bears no ill-will towards the Ibrox side.
"I enjoyed it at Rangers. There was a good group of boys and everything was good in there, but I’m getting to an age now where I just need to be playing,” he explains.
"That was the main thing for me – playing and enjoying myself. It was a big squad at Rangers, wasn’t it? It was always going to be hard but I enjoyed it there.”
There are words of appreciation too for former Light Blues manager Steven Gerrard, who is also plying his trade in English football now, and Hastie believes the game south of the Border can help him flourish – especially if he can follow a similar path to that set by ex-Scotland international Robert Snodgrass.
“He went down there and started flying. I just need to make sure I’m working hard and keeping myself as fit as possible.
"It’s been about getting a good pre-season in me then take it from there.”
Hartley brought Hastie and a handful of others from the Scottish leagues to bolster his options at Hartlepool but the presence of Gordon Young, Hastie’s former youth coach at Motherwell, also helped.
"I think the manager’s system will suit the way I play, and Gordon was a big part of coming here too. I’ve known him for so long and know how he works.”
Hastie accepts that fans of all the clubs he’s represented in the past couple of seasons haven’t seen him at his best, but he’s desperate to change that.
“I’ve definitely got a point to prove, especially because the last two seasons I’ve not been at my best.
“I just feel like I need a full season under my belt and I can get myself back to that level.
"I want to prove to people how good I am."
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