COLIN COOPER has raided his former club to take another Middlesbrough academy graduate to Hartlepool United.
Just days after confirming the arrival of defender Matthew Bates after his release from Bradford City, Pools have stepped in to persuade Stuart Parnaby to move to Victoria Park.
Parnaby, who can operate across the back four or in midfield, struggled to break in to Aitor Karanka’s first team plans last season but has a CV full of Premier League and Championship experience.
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The 31-year-old is a key acquisition for Cooper, who has been determined to add greater versatility to his squad this season.
And after a frustrating couple of years for the player, the Hartlepool boss believes the likeable Parnaby is intent on making the most of another chance to play professionally in the North-East.
The County Durham-born footballer, who is the son of Boro’s academy director Dave, made his Middlesbrough debut at Macclesfield 14 years ago in a League Cup game.
He was part of Steve McClaren’s team that reached the UEFA Cup final in 2004 when they lost to Sevilla in Eindhoven.
After making more than 100 appearances for Middlesbrough in his first spell there, he moved to Birmingham City in 2007 and returned to the Riverside in the summer of 2012.
He only made 21 further appearances during his second stint on Teesside and Karanka has shown a reluctance to play him during his time in charge.
Parnaby is likely to form part of a defensive back four that will also include Bates next season, while Cooper is also hoping to take Middlesbrough defender Christian Burgess back for a second loan.