New Hartlepool Utd boss’ first signing won’t be his last

Colin Cooper (right) with Jack Compton. Picture by FRANK REID
Colin Cooper (right) with Jack Compton. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper is thrilled to have made Jack Compton his first signing – and says he won’t be his last.

More talent will be on its way to Hartlepool United, though Cooper says he and the club may have to exercise some patience.

Compton arrived at Victoria Park after being released by Colchester at the end of last season.

The winger comes with a bright reputation, having previously played under Cooper at Bradford City, and attacking players look like being the priority for the boss.

“Jacks’s in and we have others hopefully in line,” Cooper told SportMail. “We have irons in the fire.

“And then there are loan players, but they need to find out where they fit in their club’s structures before we can do anything.”

Cooper is excited by what Compton can produce on the field.

Primarily a left-footer, he can operate on either side of the park, though it looks as if the 24-year-old and Darren Holden will pose a potent threat down the left side.

“Jack has come in and I worked with him at Bradford,” said Cooper who will hand Compton his debut this week in the Netherlands where Pools play Almere on Thursday and Telstar two days later.

“He has a lot of ability and with a bit of work and encouragement he could be a really successful player.

“Jack is young, quick and very dynamic and loves going past people.

“He has a terrific delivery into the box and I hope he will excite the fans.”

One player who is unlikely to be supplying ammunition to is Steve Howard.

The giant striker arrived at the Vic yesterday when they players reported back for pre-season training and a presentation from Cooper.

The Pools management team were keeping mum on the subject of Howard yesterday and it would appear that his days are probably numbered.

Howard finished last season on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and, while at Hillsborough, made some less than complimentary remarks about his parent club.

The 37-year-old’s future looks set to lie elsewhere and, given he is reputed to be one of the big wage-earners, his departure would surely free up some finances for Cooper

Pools are having to adhere to the financial fair play rules which could restrict Cooper’s spending and move him more towards the loan market.

“We are talking to the three North-East clubs about loan players, but we are only into week one of pre-season,” he said.

“We have to wait and we will try to do business as the financial fair play rules allow us.

“The chairman has laid out the FFP ground rules so we know what we are working with.

“Football and people say it’s in it’s own world, but now it’s to do with FFP and our affairs are a bit restricted.”

While Cooper, and assistant Craig Hignett, work hard to bring in new players, they have bee impressed by what they have seen of the existing players.

Cooper made a presentation to the squad on Thursday before taking training at Maiden Castle for the first time.

And yesterday they cranked up the work-rate just that little bit higher,

“Things have been good,” he said, “I was pleased on the first day.

“We tested them, did some technical work and some physical work and, for first day of pre-season I was pleasantly surprised.”

The presentation made by Cooper outlined what he was looking for from the players and said he wanted that to be at the Vic.

“I wanted it to be at the ground,” he said, “I was conscious of them reconnecting with the club.

“The presentation was to let them know what’s expected of them and then we went to work up at Durham.”