Cullen has the comforts of home at Pools
FOR 29-year-old striker Mark Cullen, a move to Hartlepool United is not just the last step in his career. It’s a homecoming.
Born in Ashington and produced by Newcastle United, Cullen has spent most of his playing career away from the North East.
“I’ve lived in Preston for a few years now.
“My wife and kids are still there, but to have the rest of my family so close, it’s really nice to see them a lot more than I’ve done in the last ten years or so. what I played for, so it’s always nice to come back and see the family. ”
Hull City, Luton Town, Blackpool and Port Vale have all benefited from its services over the years. It was with Luton Town that he made a name for himself in what was the Conference at the time. Cullen’s contribution helped the Hatters seal the promotion as champions ending the season as winners with 101 points.
A total of 14 goals for Luton saw Cullen rise again in the division with Blackpool in 2015. However, he soon found himself in Ligue 2 following relegation from the Tangerines.
It has been a prolific period with Blackpool which has been tinged with long term injuries. In an effort to come back among the goals, a move to Port Vale followed, but he struggled to find playing time.
“In Port Vale, it was really frustrating. I didn’t play as much as I wanted, that’s why at the end of the season I didn’t get a new contract. But these things happen in football and it all depends on how you bounce back and I’m looking to be successful here.
“I’ve been here long enough now. I kind of knew it was going to happen anyway, so it wasn’t a surprise or a shock to me, but it’s not an easy situation, especially in the lower leagues.
“You have bills to pay. We don’t earn millions of pounds, we have bills to pay, we have families to support, so we’re told you’re out of work and you’ve got to go find some. another, otherwise you won’t have any money, it’s hard.
“It might freak you out, but there are also a lot of players without a contract these days, it’s not an easy position to occupy at all.”
After a short trial period, the striker decided to sign a permanent contract at Victoria Park.
Many charismatic players have come and left at Hartlepool United. All with their own unique stamp on the team and the locker room. Cullen considers himself the wild card and the lively character of the team, even despite his short stint at the club. But it’s fair to say that he enjoys this role.
Cullen said, “So far it’s been really good to be fair. I already knew quite a few guys, playing against them, playing with them over the years, so it was an easy thing for me to settle down and I enjoy it.
“It’s just the character that I really am. I like to laugh with the guys and when you step on the pitch you train well. I think this is good. At the end of the day, we play football for a living. If you can’t take advantage of that and walk into work with a smile on your face, then you’re doing something wrong, right.
“The older I get, the more experience you gain and you see different situations. I think if something goes against you, or you get hurt or get beaten up or whatever, if you go in and let it simmer for a few days and even weeks after that it doesn’t benefit you to all.
“Obviously if you’re beaten or whatever you look at the best you can do, but you always have to come back with a new lease of life, I think and look at the next game with positivity and how you can improve. dwell on that, it’s only going to work against you. ”
Cullen’s take on football and life clearly came from years of ups and downs. For a team like Pools, this could be invaluable given their new status in the Football League.
However, he doesn’t just plan to be a star in the locker room and he wants to speak on the pitch.
“I just want to play as much as I can and score as many goals as possible. It’s not rocket science what I really want to do. I just want to play football and score goals and obviously help the team and the club and see how we do.
“Any promoted team, it doesn’t matter if you got promoted from the National League or promoted from the championship, you want to try and stabilize yourself in the next league above. I think that’s fair enough, but I think Ligue 2 can be anything as a league.
“If you put together a good set of results you can be quite up there, but also if you put bad results together you can be right there. It’s a real mixed bag as a division in as a whole. We can go into every play with positivity and look to win those games and see how we do. ”