FORMER Hartlepool United manager Neale Cooper has declared his interest in the vacant managerial post at Victoria Park.
SportMail spoke exclusively to the 48-year-old today, admitting he would “love” to return to the club with which he enjoyed great success between 2003 and 2005.
Cooper always had a fantastic rapport with the Pools fans and, while his exit – just one game before the end of the 2005 play-off campaign – was shrouded in mystery and controversy, it is thought his relationship with the club has been repaired.
Indeed, he was sat with chief executive Russ Green at a Pools game earlier this year and his son, Alex, enjoyed a three-week trial at Maiden Castle over the summer before being released.
And Cooper, currently based in Aberdeen, says it would be an honour to return to Victoria Park.
“The club has always held a special place in my heart,” he told us.
“It was my birthday the other week and I was inundated with messages from Hartlepool fans, which brought back how much I enjoyed my time there.
“When I arrived I think people thought ‘who’s this bloke from Aberdeen?’.
“But it proved to be an exciting time and we had great success on the pitch.
“I was sad to leave but that’s in the past and I’ve been back a couple of times now and have had a good reaction from the fans.
“So if there was a chance to go back then I’d definitely be interested, I would love to have that chance.”
Full story in Friday’s Mail