OH B-HAVE! – Cooper believes Dyke’s second team league plan will harm Hartlepool Utd

Dyke House Sports and Technology College Executive Head Andrew Jordan with Hartlepool United players Luke James (left) and Brad Walker
Dyke House Sports and Technology College Executive Head Andrew Jordan with Hartlepool United players Luke James (left) and Brad Walker

COLIN Cooper believes Greg Dyke’s plans for a new League Three will be of potential harm to Hartlepool United.

Dyke this week set out his controversial blueprint for the development of young English talent by proposing a new division between League Two and the Sky Bet Conference.

The competition would feature 10 B-teams from the country’s biggest clubs with the rest of the division made up of Conference teams.

Cooper though believes the best English players should be operating in the Premier League with those with potential going out on loan to clubs like Pools.

The Pools boss re-iterated his vision that Pools be something of a “nursery club” for talent from the North-East’s big three – Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

“Carlisle have now come into our division, but at the start of this season, we were the only League Two team in this area,” said Cooper, who was speaking following the launch of the Hartlepool United Elite Development Academy initiative with Dyke House Sports and Technology College.

“We had two Premier League teams, and thankfully we still have, and one Championship side, who have players they want to get good, regular first-team football.

“The way the loan market is set up, we can do that.

“We are still Hartlepool United, we still have our own identity, that does not change.

“But the loan system benefits both parties.

“We’ve had three players from Middlesbrough, Christian Burgess, Matty Dolan and Luke Williams, and two from Sunderland, Scott Harrison and Connor Oliver, plus Jack Barmby from Manchester United.

“In a way we have been a bit of a nursery club for the North-East in my first season.

“And that’s how I want it to be.

“The loan market is very very important.

“The concept the FA want of giving young players regular first-team football is right – how you come to the scenario of another league, I don’t know.

“They [the FA] are not going to do anything with the Premier League clubs to give these players more games.

“They obviously see this [a League Three] as the next scenario.”

Cooper believes getting in gifted youngsters, like Barmby, will be difficult because the clubs who are involved in operating B-teams will keep their players for that league and not loan them to League One or Two outfits.

“Greg Dyke’s scenario is that these players are going to be pitched a league below us,” said Cooper.

“[A League Three] will harm clubs in our division and the one above.

“The loan system will not become defunct at our level but all of a sudden these big clubs are going to need a squad of players to play every week.

“In my opinion, the only way England are going to get better is if young English players are playing for Premier League teams.

“They need exposing at that level of football regularly.

“But it won’t change.”