STEPHEN PEARS, the former Middlesbrough goalkeeper, has been confirmed as the new assistant manager at Hartlepool United.

Colin Cooper has been without a right-hand man since Craig Hignett left for Middlesbrough in March.

Pears worked alongside Cooper at Boro, where he was goalkeeping coach for six years after making more than 400 appearances for the club. 

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His playing career ended at Pools, signed by Keith Houchen in 1995, but he made only 19 appearances after being troubled by injury.

Pears, who will double up as goalkeeping coach, will join the squad on their pre-season training camp in Spain next week.