COLIN COOPER has informed two of his trialists if they have a future at Hartlepool United, and will now turn his attentions to the others.
Biko Bradnock-Brennan and Eugen Bopp started Saturday’s 1-0 win at Bradford Park Avenue. The winning goal came late on from Jonathan Franks.
Attacking midfielder Bopp was withdrawn after an hour, while centre-half Bradnock-Brennan played the 90 minutes, one of only two players to do so.
Of those two, based on this performance, the latter looks more likely to have a chance. Cooper was speaking to the pair on Saturday evening, with the decision yet to be made public.
“It’s a difficult one for both, they have come in and looked bright in training. Biko has this thing in America where he has his third year scholarship to consider,’’ said Cooper.
“I did say we would sit down after the game and have a chat.’’
Cooper made six changes around the hour mark, on trial Tommy Miller and Michael Woods amongst them.
Both joined Pools for training last week. Miller, who left Pools for Ipswich for £750,000 in 2001, is a free agent. Woods has been with Harrogate Town after leaving Chelsea, who snapped him up from Leeds in a joint £5m deal.
Cooper is seeking an experienced central midfielder. With Michael Brown off his list after he signed for Port Vale, Jonathan Greening is understood to be another under consideration.
Miller did his case no harm on Saturday, moving the ball well and looking to keep possession around midfield. Woods was full of enthusiasm and showed flashes of his ability.
Cooper is due to speak to the pair to come to an understanding about their trial periods.
He said: “Tommy looked lively, I was pleased with him. I know him well and he has only had a few days training.
“I asked both him and Michael if they were ready and they were keen to play.
“You can see Tommy has played a high level of football and his football intelligence was clear. He has the intensity I like.
“As a kid, when he went charging forward scoring goals, it was probably natural, without thought.
“Now he’s thinking and is encouraging the younger players and he has the fitness levels to play at our level.
“Michael tried too hard, I wanted to see him play like he did all week in training. He desperately wanted to do well.
“My shout to them is how long do you want to give it before we sit down and talk? ’’
He added: “Eugen and Biko wanted a decision after Saturday. Now with Tommy and Michael, how long do you want before a decision? One game, two? Two weeks training? Three?
“They might, if it’s a no from me, have other options to explore. If they are here three weeks with me then my call to them is what do they want out of this?
“A few weeks training or a quick decision? I’m basing it on small amount of game time and training time if they want to decide now.
“I would like to keep them a few weeks and it makes the decision easier in that I see more. Will they benefit us longer term?
“Otherwise there are still irons in the fire and we are speaking to people.’’
Cooper missed one target last week when Brown signed for Vale. The Hartlepool-born midfielder met Cooper, who said: “I spoke to Michael Brown at length on five or six occasions and made a real strong effort to put our case.
“He responded well. But he has a young family and lives south of Manchester. So Port Vale, half an hour down the road...
“He did speak positively about the club and what we are trying to do and if it were not for the geographics then he would love to be part of it.’’
Pools, who take on Sunderland at Victoria Park on Wednesday, were given a decent test by the Conference North club, who lost 2-0 to Doncaster last week.
The only goal came when left-back Darren Holden raced down the left into space to take Neil Austin’s searching pass and crossed for Franks to roll in.
Pools: Flinders (Rafferty 46); Austin (Jones 82), Bates (Richards 59), Bradnock-Brennan, Duckworth (Holden 59), Parnaby (Miller 59), Walker (Franks 59), Compton (Woods 59), Bopp (Rowbotham 59), Harewood, James (Smith 82).