Ex-Middlesbrough star Matthew Bates named Hartlepool United first-team coach

Matthew Bates: First team coach.
Matthew Bates: First team coach.

Craig Harrison has made his second backroom appointment - and it is a very familair face.

Just hours after unveiling Bernhard Hirmer as Hartlepool United's goalkeeping coach, the Pools boss has announced Matthew Bates as his first-team coach.

Harrison intends to appoint an assistant boss in the next couple of weeks, but Bates will coach the National League side, as well as managing the reserve team.

The 30-year-old will still be registered as a player but coaching will now be his main priority.

Bates came within a whisker of keeping Pools in the Football League last month when he as asked to lead the gang-of-four following the sacking of Dave Jones.

The former Middlesbrough star headed an interim management panel with club captain Billy Paynter, conditioning coach Stuart Parnaby and head physio Ian Gallagher.

Bates & Co almost pulled off a late escape, winning a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers live on Sky.

Unfortunately, relegation rivals Newport strucvk a last gasp goal to beast Notts County by the same score to condemn Pools to the drop out of the Football League for the first time in their history.

But Bates certainly impressed in the two matches he had in charge and Harrison has handed him new responsibilty for the 2017-18 season.

He assisted Bates and Hirmer on the first day of pre-season training today.