MICHAEL DUCKWORTH will captain Hartlepool United on Saturday, as the defender goes back to his old club.
The right-back was signed last summer from Bradford Park Avenue and will lead his side out at the Horsfall Stadium.
Duckworth impressed on trial 12 months ago and this afternoon, boss Colin Cooper will give his four trialists a chance to impress.
Eugen Bopp and Biko Bradnock-Brennan are likely to start, with Tommy Miller and Michael Woods also given a chance to earn a deal at Victoria Park.
Bopp and Bradnock-Brennan went to Spain on last week’s training camp and played in the midweek 9-0 win over Billingham Town.
Bopp is a former Nottingham Forest and Crewe attacking midfielder, while centre-half Bradnock-Brennan has been playing college football in America after starting out in Blackpool’s Under-18 team.
Miller faced Pools twice last season for Bury and remains Pools’ record sale after he moved to Ipswich for £750,000 in 2001. Woods was a Leeds trainee who was signed by Chelsea and has been playing for Harrogate Town, where he was watched by Cooper last season.
“I have promised Biko and Eugen that they will start the game and then we’ll make a decision afterwards,” said Cooper.
“I’ll have a conversation with Tommy and Michael. I suppose it’s a bit of a gamble playing in a trial game with the risk of getting injured but at some point if they want to be involved I’d like to give them a chance.”
Former Pools striker James Poole, who left Victoria Park at the end of last season, is on trial for Melbourne City. He scored in a 2-2 draw with Bury this week and will play against Oldham today. The Australians, who have just signed ex-Newcastle winger Damien Duff, are part-owned by Poole’s former club Manchester City.
Michael Brown, the Hartlepool-born midfielder, yesterday signed for Port Vale.
Pools new away kit, manufactured by Nike, will go on sale next Wednesday on the morning of the club’s friendly with Sunderland.
Club mascot H’Angus the Monkey will be in the club shop from 4pm to meet supporters and Pools will wear the kit against the Black Cats.
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