WHILE Town are focusing on Hartlepool right now, Steve Yates has half an eye on sunnier climes!

The 35-year-old defender will bring down the curtain on his 17-year playing career in a few weeks by moving with his young family to Crete.

Yates, who helped Town win promotion via the play-offs last season, intends to get involved in health and fitness and may still continue to play football for fun.

"My wife Louise and I bought some land last year in Crete and we are having a house built at the moment," explained the former Bristol Rovers, QPR, Tranmere and Sheffield United stalwart.

"We will be going out there sometime in May when, hopefully, things will be near enough finished on the building front.

"I'm no good whatsoever at DIY, so I hope they are!

"Moving abroad is something we have talked about for a while and, as the kids are still young enough (they have two daughters) this seems the ideal time.

"Crete is a place I have visited for a long number of years, both on my own when I was younger and with Louise and the family since.

"I like the lifestyle there, the people are very friendly and the weather is fantastic."

Yates needs just two appearances to reach 600 in the English game, but he accepts he might not quite make it with Town fielding so many youngsters in the final eight matches of the season.

"I don't seem to have figured much since I announced I was retiring, but the club is looking to the future and that's fine," he explained.

"I may well get in touch with a club in Crete and, whether I play or not, I would like to get involved in the coaching side - particularly bringing youngsters through.

"At least we've got time to see how things work out during the next year."