A FORMER Hartlepool United hero is hoping to help nurture the next generation of footballing talent after teaming up with a town college.
Mark Tinkler, who made more than 200 appearances at The Vic between 2000-2007, has joined the coaching team at Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street.
Mark, who bagged over 30 goals and was a hugely popular figure at Pools, started his career at Leeds United as a youngster before moving onto York City, Southend and then Hartlepool.
Since finishing his playing career, the former midfielder has worked both at Victoria Park with the school of excellence and also at Midlesbrough’s highly-rated Academy.
The college, which was relaunched earlier this month after a £53m rebuild, is rapidly making a name for itself in sporting circles.
But Mark is looking to set himself apart from other ex-pros who have switched from playing to coaching by taking a teaching qualification which he hopes will help him pass on his experience to students.
Mark, 37, said: “I realise that the modern day game requires much more than experience and the teaching qualification is giving me the knowledge and skills to educate the players I work with, not only on the game but on other important aspects as well.”
Mark will work alongside former Pools team-mate Ian Clark, who himself has proved the links between coaching and teaching can provide great success.
Ian said: “Mark is just what we are looking for at Hartlepool College, not only because of his footballing experience but more importantly because he follows our ethos that education can improve sport.”
College principal Michael Bretherwick said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the team and have no doubts he will help our students as they continue their development.”
This year’s football academy at Hartlepool College also includes a female team to add to the 24-man male squad, and the ever-increasing development squad.
For further information on the sporting opportunities at Hartlepool College, call (01429) 295111.