Eastbourne Borough star signing Gary Hart insists he wants to add more medals to his collection and has not arrived at Priory Lane to see out the remainder of his career.
The 34-year-old Brighton legend agreed to sign for Boro’ after his impressive pre-season display against Hayes and Yeading as captain last Saturday.
Hart admitted he received offers from other full-time clubs but after speaking to the management and taking part in Boro’s pre-season campaign he is convinced he has made the right move.
He said, “It was a big decision for me. I have been involved in full-time football for years and as a player you want to play at the highest level for as long as possible.
“I had a few other offers but it got a bit complicated with travel and a few other issues. Here (Boro’) I can play football, concentrate on my coaching and be close to my family.
“I have seen enough at the club to know that this is where I want to be. I know a lot of the lads here and I’ve been very impressed with the other players. We have some good players here.
“No matter who I play for I will always give 100 per cent. I play to win and I am the worst loser. I want to play regular football, help this side get promotion and win more medals.”
Hart, who lives in Peacehaven, said it was a wrench to leave Brighton after 13 seasons. The Seagulls signed a youthful Hart after they spotted him playing for Stanstead in what was then the Essex Senior League. Hart went on to make 417 appearances for the side and played under managers such as Steve Coppell, Micky Adams and Gus Poyet.
The fee was £1,000 and a set of tracksuits for the Essex outfit.
Hart added, “It was back in the days when Brighton didn’t have a pot to pee in. It’s not like now where they are throwing money here, there and everywhere.
“Apparently they (the scouts) turned up at the wrong match and watched our game by accident. I didn’t even know they were there but I must I have done something right. I couldn’t have dreamed I would have gone on to have the career I did for them and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
Despite the highs of his professional career you will not find Hart acting the ‘big-time Charlie’ at Priory Lane.
“He added, “I have seen it before at Brighton when players come in and act the big time but I am not that type of person. I’m happy to pitch in and do whatever the manager asks.
“I can play anywhere and during my time at Brighton I played every position including goal keeper – I always give 100 per cent.
“I think the players at Boro’ know that. They have made me feel very welcome and have given me some stick about the songs the fans sang about me at the AMEX (during the Sussex Senior Cup final). I love the banter and I’m sure there will be more of it to come.”
As a young player he was introduced into the Brighton side alongside the likes of Charlie Oatway and Danny Cullip.
He added, “Sometimes you have to learn the hard way. And if you made a mistake these guys would soon put you in line. I learnt a lot from them and hopefully I can pass that on to the younger players at Eastbourne.”
Hart openly admits to hating pre-season and is eager to get the serious action underway when they take on Farnborough on the first day of the Blue Square South division one campaign on August 13.
“It was nice to hear the fans saying I played well after the Hayes match but I come alive when the real action starts.”
Borough continue their pre-season programme at Bognor tonight (Friday).