Craig Harrison reveals why he has brought his old Middlesbrough mentor Paul Jenkins in to Pools

Paul Jenkins and Craig Harrison
Paul Jenkins and Craig Harrison

Craig Harrison says he is delighted to link up again with Paul Jenkins, after the former Middlesbrough coach joined Hartlepool United.

Jenkins, who left Boro last week, comes in as Harrison’s No 2 in an exciting move by Pools.

“I’ve known Jenks for a long time because he was at Middlesbrough when I was there 20 years ago so there is already a strong bond and friendship between us,” Harrison explained.

“We’ve known each other a long time which is important but just as crucial is to have a young and dynamic team because energy and enthusiasm will play a huge part and we have that in all members of our staff.

“The quality he has and the delivery on the pitch as well as the support he can offer me is going to be unbelievable because he has been there and done it at all levels, from under-nines up to working with the first team in the last few months of last season.

“He has a broad range of experience and skills but he also has all the qualities I want so I am sure the lads will work hard but also enjoy training with him as much as they have at any of their others clubs.”

Jenkin led Boro’s Under-23s for the last three years, before departing by mutual consent as part of backroom changes made since the appointment of Garry Monk as manager.

The 42-year-old had stepped up to first-team duties under caretaker manager Steve Agnew last season, but had been expected to resume his role with the Under-23s.

However, despite having been at the club for 20 years and playing a key role in the emergence of a crop of Boro youngsters such as Stewart Downing and Ben Gibson stepping into the first team, Jenkins was allowed to leave.

His capture by Pools is a major coup and gives Harrison a strong, knowledgeable assistant as he looks to guide the club back into the Football League.

The Hartlepool boss worked with Jenkins as a player when he was at Middlesbrough.

Harrison’s coaching staff is now complete, with Jenkins, Matthew Bates and goalkeeping coach Bernhard Hirmer.