Hartlepool United striker Nialle Rodney to leave club

Nialle Rodney in action against Rochdale. Photograph by FRANK REID

Nialle Rodney in action against Rochdale. Photograph by FRANK REID

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HARTLEPOOL United striker Nialle Rodney is to leave the club at the end of this month, it has been confirmed.

The 23-year-old signed for Pools in the summer after impressing while on trial but he has since only made 15 first-team appearances this season, scoring one goal.

Club chairman Ken Hodcroft confirmed in his programme notes for today’s match at home to Cheltenham Town that Rodney would be leaving when his monthly contract runs out at the end of March.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat, manager Colin Cooper told SportMail that he was “sorry” it hadn’t worked out but confirmed the striker wasn’t going to be offered a new deal for next season so felt it was right to release him now.

Cooper said: “He has terrific pace and ability but it hasn’t quite happened.

“That won’t dampen my feelings about Nialle as a lad and I’m sorry it hasn’t quite worked out the way I wanted it to.

“We have been going on a month to month basis because of the financial fair play but I am now, in my mind, thinking about 2014-15.

“With all due respect I wouldn’t have extended his contract beyond the end of the season so I have decided now is the time to start planning.

“It doesn’t mean I feel any less about him.

“I’m sorry it hasn’t quite worked but I genuinely hope that he doesn’t go back out of football and that he gives it another go, wherever that is.

“I wish him well.”

Rodney’s only start came in the 2-1 win at Morecambe in December. His goal for the Sky Bet League Two club came in spectacular fashion during the 5-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win over Bradford City in September.

* See Monday’s Hartlepool Mail for full match reaction, analysis, pictures, player ratings and your terrace tweets.