Plymouth Argyle sign former Stevenage defender Peter Hartley

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Peter Hartley
Hartley played 180 games for Hartlepool in four years

Plymouth Argyle have signed former Stevenage centre-back Peter Hartley on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old is the fifth new player to join Argyle since the end of last season, and his arrival follows manager John Sheridan indicating a need for more defensive reinforcements.

"As soon as I spoke to the manager my mind was made up," Hartley said.

"I saw his desire and his commitment to what he wants tot do for this pace and I want to be part of that."

The defender played 39 times for Stevenage last season as they finished bottom of League One.

He is the second central defender to join the Pilgrims this week following

Hartley acknowledged the distance Plymouth is from his Hartlepool base, but added: "It's a long way, but when you get the opportunity to come to a club like this that deserves to be in a bigger and better place than it's in right now, it doesn't come into it.

"Everyone knows the club don't deserve to be in League Two, but what's happened in the past has happened.

"It seems to be a club on the rise and it's fighting to get back where it deserves to be."

The club has been on the look out for new defenders after right-back Durrell Berry rejected a new contract and Maxime Blanchard and Neal Trotman were released in May.

Plymouth have also allowed teenage centre-back Jamie Richards to join Linfield on loan until 2015, but have agreed a new deal with 18-year-old left-back Ben Purrington.

"Attacking-wise I think we look quite strong, defensively I'd like to bring a right-back in and another centre-back," Sheridan told BBC Sport prior to the announcement of Hartley's arrival.

"But it's not just a case of bringing players in and they're automatically going to play.

"They're going to have to compete with what I've already got, and I want everyone pushing for a place believing they can be in the side for the opening game of the season."