Busy weekend for Ryan Brobbel with Hartlepool Utd and Northern Ireland

Ryan Brobbel in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Ryan Brobbel in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

RYAN Brobbel is set for a busy weekend after being called up to the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad.

The on-loan Middlesbrough winger will play his last game of his current month-long spell at Hartlepool United when Pools take on Shrewsbury Town at Victoria Park on Saturday.

The 21-year-old will then have to catch a flight to Belfast to meet up his international teammates ahead of their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier against Serbia.

That match takes place next Tuesday, September 9 at Shamrock Park, in Portadown.

Pools manager Colin Cooper has heaped praise on the Hartlepool-born winger during his time at the club and he is hopeful of extending the loan deal.

He has previously said Brobbel can stay as “long as he wants”, given his impressive form on both flanks.

Cooper told SportMail: “This coming Saturday is the last game of his current loan spell and he also has an International call-up for Northern Ireland.

“I think Northern Ireland would quite like him to be in Belfast at lunchtime on Saturday.

“I don’t think that is going to happen and hopefully we can negotiate a flight for him on Saturday evening.

“Whatever heritage you have got, to play international football is fantastic and he has gone all the way through from U-17s, all the way up to U21’s now.

“My personal opinion is he is getting better year on year.

“I think there is no doubt in my mind he will have a decent football career.”

Brobbel has certainly made a big impression since arriving from Championship neighbours Boro with his set piece delivery, play on the wing and willingness to do his fair share of defensive work.

Cooper, a former Boro player and coach, knows the 21-year-old well.

He added: “Ryan has got a fantastic engine and he can do both sides of the job.

“As someone with that ability, if you can give the other side of the game as well, then you will have a good football career.”

Brobbel’s loan spell, which started on Friday, August 8, was for an initial four weeks but runs out after the Shrewsbury match.

Pools, though, will be hoping to extend it especially given the departure of Luke James to Peterborough United on deadline day.

Cooper is already thin on numbers without losing further players.

The winger has come through the ranks at Middlesbrough and turned professional in 2011 after impressing the hierarchy during his spell in the Academy.

The former High Tunstall school pupil gained senior experience last season when he made 21 appearances and scored four goals during two loan stints with League Two rivals York City.

- RICHARD MENNEAR