Cooper still wants two more players for Hartlepool United

KEEPING HIS EYES OPEN: Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID

KEEPING HIS EYES OPEN: Neale Cooper. Picture by FRANK REID

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NEALE Cooper insists that football agents must take a “reality check” as Hartlepool United’s search for reinforcements continues.

The surplus of unattached footballers to squad places available in the Football League means Cooper’s phone has not stopped ringing since he announced his intention to bring in “hopefully two” new players.

But the Scot admits the figures quoted for some players are way beyond the financial means of Pools, and indeed the majority of lower-league clubs.

“For me, it’s tough bringing in players,” he said, “I’m always on the phone to agents, there’s a lot of players out there.

“But straight away we know what we can’t do.

“We get a lot of phone calls regarding players, but with the money they are asking they need a reality check, because some players will drift out of football.”

The summer transfer window closed last night, although that is of little consequence to Pools with clubs still able to sign loan players and free agents from next week.

Cooper has this week given a trial to former Everton trainee Femi Orenuga, the 19-year-old winger, although a deal appears unlikely.

“He (Orenuga) was quite lightweight,” said Cooper as he reflected on the teenager’s performance in the 4-0 reserve-team defeat to Chesterfield.

“He was busy and looked bright at times, but it’s a hard one to decide on.

“He has looked quite sharp but is he the right player for us?

“But we’ve still got time because the transfer window doesn’t really affect us yet.

“We look at loan deals and they can carry on after that.”

Cooper has long since stated his preference to run the rule over any player before they arrive at Victoria Park, and that includes potential loan additions from Premier League clubs.

“We have spoke to clubs about loan players, but then you are offered them and I cannot take them without seeing them,” he said.

“I need to look at them first and see if they are worth a chance, even if it’s just for a couple of days you can get a good feel for a boy.”