TOMMY Miller has become Hartlepool United’s third signing of the summer – but manager Colin Cooper is still hopeful of adding further recruits.
Experienced Miller joined on trial three weeks ago and has done enough to secure himself a contract ahead of the opening day Sky Bet League Two match at Stevenage tomorrow (KO 3pm).
The 35-year-old former Pools, Sunderland, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town midfielder was released by Bury in the summer and has since featured in several pre-season fixtures.
Cooper had also targeted Michael Brown, who signed for Port Vale, and Jonathan Greening, who is expected to sign for Blackpool after spending a short time on trial at The Vic, to fill a central midfield spot.
Speaking at the club’s Maiden Castle training base yesterday, Cooper heaped praise on Miller, who left Pools for Ipswich in 2001 for a fee of £750,000. Miller, who has more than 500 league appearances in his career, goes straight into the squad for Stevenage and will wear the Number 10 shirt.
Cooper said: “We have been working on that deal. I’m pleased with it.
“Tommy is a good pro and you get to a point in your career when you just enjoy yourself.
“Tommy is 35 and he’s at that stage now.
“I’ve known him a long time, from when he first started playing here. When I was at Bradford I tried to sign him there as well.
“He is someone who has energy, enthusiasm and technical ability.
“Whether he is bombing on from midfield or supporting Bradley Walker in there, he adds a lot.
“I had a list of players in the summer to sign and I’ve got three of them so I can’t be disappointed with that.
“It doesn’t stop me wanting to get more though.”
Pools released Andy Monkhouse and Simon Walton in the summer, while James Poole and Antony Sweeney turned down new contracts leaving behind a young and threadbare squad.
Since then Cooper has added Matthew Bates, Stuart Parnaby and now Miller to his squad but he insists he is looking to bring in further reinforcements.
Trialist Michael Woods remains at the club and Cooper is hopeful of securing a deal for him as well, with other new recruits likely to be loan signings from neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough - with defenders Scott Harrison and Christian Burgess and striker Mikael Mandron being tracked.
Cooper added: “Michael has showed enough to justify his talent and an offer of something, it is just a case of whether we can do it.
“With loans we have to wait for clubs to release players after things have worked for them.
“At Middlesbrough, Aitor Karanka is trying to build a squad to get out of the Championship and we have a good relationships with the other North-East clubs but will have to wait for things to happen.
“Everyone in management is the same with business getting done over the next few weeks,
“I’ve spoke about other clubs having their priorities and things happening on the back of that for us.
“It’s not materialised just yet for the parent clubs, so we are patient.
“But I’m more than happy to head into the weekend with what we have knowing we have enough to get off to a good start.
“I’m sure there will be opportunities in the coming weeks to maintain relationships with those clubs and others who we are keen to keep developing.”
Cooper added: “We have a squad more than capable of competing but I am still looking to add to it.
“The players I have in I am happy with and if we can add something else then we will be better for it.
“I will be trying to do that all season.
“Everyone gets so wound up about the transfer window but the loan market opens when the market shuts and everyone dips into that.”
One player who won’t be getting a contract at Pools is former Boro forward Cameron Park, who played in the 4-1 friendly win over Spennymoor Town.
Cooper added: “I offered him a chance to train here but he opted to work with a personal trainer, so that answers that question.”
The Pools manager also confirmed that he is not looking to bring in Bradford City midfielder Jason Kennedy after being strongly linked with the former Boro youth player.
Cooper added: “Jason is someone I know. I spoke to him last summer but he chose to go to Bradford last summer.
“I have spoke to Phil Parkinson in recent weeks and I gather he is staying at Bradford.
“Jason isn’t someone on my radar.”