Hartlepool United’s dilemma on trial star Rodney

Nialle Rodney in action against Whitby Town.

Nialle Rodney in action against Whitby Town.

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COLIN Cooper says that he would like to give Nialle Rodney the chance to relaunch his career at Hartlepool United – but admits that might not be possible.

The 22-year-old scored the second goal of his trial period during last night’s 2-0 win at Whitby Town.

Rodney came from the bench in the second half and produced a cool finish to strengthen his case for an extended stay at Victoria Park.

Cooper had the striker under his care at Bradford City and it was that which persuaded the Pools boss to offer him a pre-season trial.

But the manager is also aware that Rodney lost his way somewhat after his spell in West Yorkshire.

As a result Cooper believes the former Nottingham Forest trainee is still rough around the edges, and that could determine whether or not he wins a permanent deal on Clarence Road.

“I keep saying this to Nialle - he’s been out of football for a long time,” Cooper said today.

“He’s still only 22 but I think he’s lost a year of education.

“When I had him at Bradford I just saw something in him.

“I would like to give someone like Nialle a chance – he’s got pace and can finish.

“But because he’s lost that year of learning I have to ask ‘have we got the time and the money to give him that time and chance to develop here?’.

“I don’t know - I will have to speak to the chief executive and the chairman and see how they feel about things like that.”

Rodney’s goal arrived on 57 minutes having latched onto a James Poole throughball.

Skipper Antony Sweeney had earlier given Pools a first-half lead when he volleyed home from a Jonathan Franks centre.

Pools, who included Scott Flinders and Steve Howard for the first time this summer, dominated for the large part against their Northern Premier Division hosts, and, on the whole, Cooper was pleased with the night’s work.

“I’m enjoying bits of things that I’m seeing all of the time, but then some bits that I’m not,” he reflected.

“I can’t grumble with what I’m seeing but I’m impatient for us to progress.

“But we’re heading in the right direction and we created a fair few chances and got into some very good positions.

“The two goals were particularly pleasing.

“For the first it was a great cross from Franksy and a lovely finish from Sweeney.

“It was well constructed and that was one of the positives.

“The second goal was well made again.

“Nialle did himself no harm with the finish either.”