Record-breaking ex-Middlesbrough star Craig Harrison contender for Hartlepool United job

Craig Harrison
Craig Harrison

Record-breaking Craig Harrison has emerged as a contender to be the new Hartlepool United manager.

The former Middlesbrough defender has enjoyed a trophy-laden start to his coaching career in Wales with The New Saints.

Ronnie Moore

Ronnie Moore

The 39-year-old has led the club to six successive Welsh Premier League titles and six cups – with another on the horizon when they play their Welsh Cup Final on Sunday.

Harrison is understood to be keen to manage in England, and was short listed for the Gateshead job last season.

After missing out on that job at his hometown club, Harrison guided Saints to another championship this term, setting a new world record for successive top-flight wins in the process, with the 27 victories beating Ajax’s 44-year landmark.

Harrison is not the only former Boro old boy in the frame however, with interim boss Matthew Bates installed as the early favourite for the job by bookmakers.

The 30-year-old defender has been placed in charge after Dave Jones left the club, and will be assisted by club captain Billy Paynter, coach Stuart Parnaby and physio Ian Gallagher.

He was made 6/4 favourite to land the job permanently, with former Grimsby Town boss Marcus Bignot next in the betting, despite being sacked by the League Two rivals after just five months in charge.

Sam Collins, caretaker boss at Pools on three occasions, was 10-1 to make a return having been let go by Jones last month, while Ronnie Moore, who masterminded the Great escape two years ago, is 12-1 to be handed the reins again.

The 64-year-old retains strong ties with the club and has been back to The Vic to watch Pools in action since losing his job. He is out of work after leaving Eastleigh, and is understood to be keen on coming back to the club.