Jonathan Greening to feature for Hartlepool United in tonight’s friendly with Middlesbrough

Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper walks out before the game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper walks out before the game against Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

JONATHAN Greening is in the Hartlepool United squad for tonight’s pre-season friendly with Middlesbrough at Victoria Park.

SportMail revealed earlier this summer that Colin Cooper had identified the former Premier League midfielder as a transfer target after he was released by Nottingham Forest at the end of last season.

Greening has spent the past two weeks on trial with Championship side Rotherham United but they decided against offering the midfielder a contract and he arrived to join training at Pools on Tuesday morning.

The trialist is likely to be competing with Tommy Miller, another experienced midfielder, for a contract at Pools and both are set to play some part tonight.

Cooper has now confirmed the 35-year-old former Manchester United, West Brom, Fulham and Middlesbrough midfielder will play some part against Boro KO 7.30pm).

“We’ve had Jonathan in this week who is another experienced player who can handle a football and has played at the top level for the majority of his career,” Cooper told the club’s website.

“To have him in training is a big bonus for us and I am looking forward to seeing him play and I know that he’s looking forward to being involved against Middlesbrough too which is great so we’ll see what happens off the back of that.”

Scarborough-born Greening has a wealth of experience and after starting his career with York City, soon moved up the leagues, joining Manchester United for three seasons, where he won the Champions League in 1999.

The former England Under 21 international then joined Steve McClaren at Boro in 2001 before also playing in the Premier League for West Brom and Fulham, before Greening joined Forest where he has been for the past three seasons.

Cooper has been tracking the experienced Scarborough-born midfielder for more than a year now.