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Cooper putting in the transfer groundwork
FOR Colin Cooper, the search for new signings to boost his Hartlepool United squad goes on.
Pools go to York tomorrow and, while Cooper is still hopeful of landing Middlesbrough midfielder Matty Dolan on loan following a week of talks between the clubs, the deal now appears to have hit the buffers.
Cooper, however, is confident there's a number of options to follow up.
He watched the Under-21 sides of Sunderland and Middlesbrough on Monday and has made approaches to both clubs to offer some of their prospects the chance of first-team football, and has done the same with Newcastle United.
Forging links and understandings with the other North-East teams is a key aim of Cooper's, hoping they will bear fruition.
"I've took games in this week, looking at younger elements. It's a case of making contacts, seeing if the clubs will let players out on loan and then it becomes a financial issue,'' he said.
"Can we come to an arrangement? A lot of clubs now, at all levels, like the idea of their players going on loan, but then maybe the days aren't there any more of clubs letting them go for free.
"So we are still talking to five or six different clubs and I'd like to think we can still do something and it will be down to finance.
"There's not much to play with, but the positive thing is youth loans - Under-21s - wouldn't affect our financial fair play levels. So that might be an avenue to go down, but we are looking at permanents and loans.''
Cooper has already signed centre-half Christian Burgess on loan from Boro and added: "I'd like more quality in through the door and that give us an opportunity to up the ante in training every day.
"Of course we are looking for a goalscorer and it's about what's out there and what's available. Do clubs want a financial contribution? Then it's a difficult one as there's not much to play with.
"We continue the hunt for good players all over the field to give us more options.''
And, while he is actively looking at recruiting, he is happy not to see any offers for his own players.
Brad Walker is being watched by a number of clubs after making a swift impression in his fledging career, but Cooper said: "I'm not aware of any interest in our players. A lot of people like one or two of our players. If the phone rings and something is said then you have to sit down and weight it up.
"Bradley has been a young revelation, Jack (Baldwin) and Luke (James) have been courted over the last year and a half and Scott (Flinders) is one of our better players. I'd like to think they are the basis on what we can build on.
"If the phone rings and it's about X, Y or Z then you have to have that conversation as it can be about how you can do things.
"As it stands, my phone hasn't rang asking about our players.''
Pools will be without skipper Antony Sweeney tomorrow. He was forced off in the early stages of last weekend's defeat to Southend with a calf strain.
"Tony's not so good,'' said Cooper. "He tweaked his hip-flex on Friday and came in on Saturday and said he was great, but unfortunately he tweaked his calf.
"He's been for scan and it's not great news, he's got a tear in his calf - that rules him out for this weekend certainly.''
Pools have sold around 1500 tickets for tomorrow's game and they are available until 4pm today.
And the club's chief executive, Russ Green, has thanked supporters for their backing, while asking them to stay on the right side of the law.
"The number of supporters we are taking to away games is unbelievable and shows the dedication and support for our club - it's something we very much appreciate,'' he said.
"We would, though, urge all fans travelling to York to behave themselves both in the ground and surrounding areas in order to upkeep the good name of Hartlepool United FC.
"Over the past few seasons, we have worked closely with the local police to help to try and reduce the charges which we incur for any incidents.
"We urge all fans to enjoy the day, get behind the team and represent your club and town in an orderly fashion and enable us to progress the club on the pitch instead of having to deal with police matters.''
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