Neale Cooper steps us Pools transfer search as NUFC trialist arrives

Neale Cooper during the game against Colchester United. Picture by FRANK REID
Neale Cooper during the game against Colchester United. Picture by FRANK REID
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NEALE Cooper will step up his transfer trawl over the next fortnight with a number of trialists set to arrive at Maiden Castle.

The Scot was on Tyneside earlier in the week to see Newcastle United’s reserves beaten 6-3 by Manchester United.

There were several players among the Magpies side who are set to be released this summer and Cooper was there to check out their credentials.

Greg McDermott, son of former Newcastle and Liverpool star Terry, was not involved, but the midfielder played for Pools reserves yesterday.

And Cooper, who was at Glanford Park, told SportMail: “This is a good chance for me to take in games such as that up at Newcastle.

“It’s important to get a good look at the ones who are being released.

“It’s that time of year when these boys probably know what’s happening and they will be available to go out on trial.

“If we think it’s right then that’s something we could look at.”

Strikers Phil Airey and Dan Taylor, midfielder Brad Inman and defenders Patrick Nzuzi, Stephen Folan and Jeff Henderson are all headed for the St James’s Park exit door.

Airey, who attended the same Northumberland school – Coquet - as Pools starlet Luke James, was a target of former manager Mick Wadsworth in January of last year.

In the end, Pools took Ryan Donaldson on loan from United - he will also be released in June - while Airey went north of the border to Hibernian in August, only to pick up an ankle injury and return to Newcastle.

The 20-year-old, who has since spent a brief spell with Conference side Gateshead, has failed to hit the heights of his breakthrough season which saw him crowned top goalscorer in the Central League.

Airey was among the scorers on Monday as the home side raced into a three-goal lead, converting the second from the penalty spot having set up Australian-born Inman for the opener.

Taylor, another forward who Cooper would have been monitoring, added a third.

But the Red Devils hit back and scored six times without reply to take victory, Will Keane helping himself to four goals.

“It was a brilliant game to be honest,” said Cooper.

“I don’t think Sir Alex (Ferguson) would have been too happy with some of the defending in the first half though.

“But I enjoyed it and it was a good chance for me to see what is out there.”

Keane, 19, is an England Under-21 international who could be available for loan next season but he is likely to have Championship suitors.