CRAIG Harrison has left his post as The New Saints manager to take up the manager's job with National League side Hartlepool United.

The former Middlesbrough man joins the club, which was relegated from League Two on the final day, with immediate effect after TNS released him from his contract.

He had been linked with role ever since David Jones was sacked in April following a run of poor results, shortly after broadcaster Jeff Stelling's rant on air.

The Soccer Saturday host was at Park Hall three days later and joked he would be tempted to poach Harrison.

Harrison, who hails from the north east of England, has been the most successful manager in the history of The New Saints.

At Park Hall for five years in January just gone, during that time the club has won six Welsh Premier League titles and lifted the Welsh Cup four times and the Welsh League Cup each of the last three seasons.

TNS chairman Mike Harris said: "I would personally like to thank Craig for all of the success he has brought to the club in the five years or so he has been with us.

"I wish him all the very best in his new role with Hartlepool United’ said The New Saints’ Chairman Mike Harris

Chief Operating Officer Ian Williams added: "Craig has been instrumental in ensuring continued success during his time at the club, I wish him all the very best."

In the interim period, Scott Ruscoe will step up from his current role of assistant-manager to take charge of team affairs. He will be assisted by Steve Evans.