Colin Cooper would like to offer deal to Bradford Park Avenue’s Michael Duckworth

Trialist Michael Duckworth in action against Whitby Town.
Trialist Michael Duckworth in action against Whitby Town.

COLIN Cooper admits that he would like to reward trialist Michael Duckworth with a professional contract – but concedes priorities may lie elsewhere.

The 20-year-old has appeared three times for Pools over pre-season having been recommended to Cooper by the player’s boss at Bradford Park Avenue.

And Duckworth has certainly caught the eye at right-back with his energy and comfort in possession.

Pools, though, are operating within strict financial constraints, as Cooper explained: “If I could do something tomorrow I would.

“But, as it is now, I go back to Financial Fair Play.

“I have told Michael I will be as open and honest as possible.

“Right-back is not a priority but I do want good footballers at this club.

“Whether we can do anything will be dictated by finance and whether we’ve got any room to work within.

“We’re still waiting for some feedback from the league on where we are financially.”

Cooper, however, has been impressed.

“When his manager spoke to me he said he was good enough to play League football, he just hadn’t had that chance yet,” he explained.

“But Michael has shown that he is a good player and has done well.

“I would like to offer him that opportunity but we may have to prioritise elsewhere, we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Pools will be hoping to finalise the loan deal of Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess before Saturday’s League Two opener at Rochdale.