Hartlepool: Colin Cooper wants Middlesbrough links maintained

Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper is keen to maintain strong links with Middlesbrough, regardless of who fills the managerial vacancy on Teesside.

This season Cooper has brought in Matty Dolan and Christian Burgess on loan deals from the Riverside.

Pools also signed teenage midfielder Brad Walker after Boro did not offer him a professional deal in the summer.

The developmental relationship is important because it makes Hartlepool better, and gives those players that move on loan a foothold in League football

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper

"It's vital we have a relationship with not just Middlesbrough, but Sunderland and Newcastle," he told BBC Look North.

"Obviously we have the two lads on loan so I was on only the phone to Middlesbrough on Wednesday."

Cooper spent six years in various coaching roles at the Riverside and under the club's previous manager Tony Mowbray he was placed in charge of the Under-18 team.

Currently, there are no players at Victoria Park that were recruited from Newcastle or Sunderland, whereas Zak Boagey and Jonathan Franks have also made the 10-mile switch from Cooper's former employers.

"We need to be trying to keep links with the other North East clubs as well as any other places we sign players on loan from," he continued.

"Whoever the next Boro manager is, I need to have a very personal relationship with them.

"The developmental relationship is important because it makes Hartlepool better, and gives those players a foothold in league football."