Interim manager Antony Sweeney explains Hartlepool United's coaching set-up following departure of former Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace defender Clint Hill after a month

Hartlepool United’s already depleted coaching team lost another man this week as Clint Hill’s departure from the club was confirmed.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 3:28 pm

It was always likely that Hill – appointed by Dave Challinor as first team coach last month – would be soon to follow the former Pools boss out of the door.

And that effectively confirmed when the former QPR defender didn’t make the trip to the crucial FA Cup first round replay at Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night. Pools won the game 1-0 thanks to a first half strike from Mark Cullen.

A statement released by the club on Thursday morning confirmed Hill’s departure.

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Antony Sweeney and Ian McGuckin during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Barnet at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 26th October 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News ) Photograph may only be used for newspaper and/or magazine editorial purposes, license required for commercial use

What was a core coaching trio at the start of the month has quickly been reduced to one lone ranger in interim manager Antony Sweeney.

But the 38-year-old has been quick to turn to former Pools defender, youth coach and current head of high performance coaching with Hartlepool college, Ian McGuckin.

McGuckin partnered Sweeney during his initial spell as caretaker two years ago and stepped in once again to assist at Wycombe on Tuesday night.

But his presence was merely a short-term fix as Hartlepool continue their search for their next permanent manager.

“It’s going to be a day by day thing with Gucky,” Sweeney told The Mail. “The club are obviously searching for a new manager and I’m not sure where that is at right now and it doesn’t really concern me if I’m honest.

"I’ve been asked to do a job and I’m doing the job as best as I can which has hopefully bought the club a bit of time to make an appointment.

"But Gucky has always been available whenever I’ve needed him and not just as interim manager, whether it’s advice, phone calls or just to sound off, he’s always been a top man for me.

"When there was an issue with Clint’s future there was only one man I was going to ask to come and I’ve got to thank the FA as well because he’s employed by them and they’ve allowed him to come down to Wycombe and miss the training sessions that he’d usually do.

"He’s been a massive help and contributed to what was a really good win for us.”

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