Miller aims to impress Hartlepool United

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FORMER Hartlepool United midfielder Tommy Miller is back training with the club and could feature in tonight’s friendly at Billingham Town.

Miller - available on a free - was invited to train with the Pools squad this week at their Maiden Castle base in Durham by manager Colin Cooper.

The former Black Cat has been joined by another midfielder Michael Woods, and both could feature in tonight’s pre-season friendly.

Miller, 35, left the Sky Bet League Two club for Ipswich Town 13 years ago today and is a free agent after leaving Bury at the end of last season.

Shotton-born Miller turned out against Pools last season, playing well in the holding midfield berth for Bury in their 3-0 win at Victoria Park in January.

During last season the veteran midfielder played his 500th senior game after years of service with Pools, Ipswich Town, Sunderland, Preston, Sheffield Wednesday, Huddersfield, Swindon - where he took temporary charge in February, 2013, following the departure of manager Paolo Di Canio.

Miller was shown the door at Ipswich aged 15 because he was deemed too small, but then Billy Horner and Brian Honour stepped in and he was given a trial at Victoria Park and taken on as a YTS.

He made his debut for Pools in October, 1997, when he came on as a sub for Stephen Halliday in a 3-1 defeat at Chester, before making his first start seven days later in a 2-2 draw at Doncaster Rovers.

Miller became a first-choice under Mick Tait but his best times at Pools came under Chris Turner, helping Pools to the promotion play-offs two years in a row, in 2000 and 2001.

During his time at Pools he bagged 35 goals in 135 games before earning himself a move up the leagues. Miller, whose goal scoring antics have dried up in recent seasons, was joined at training by Harrogate Town midfielder Woods, 24.

York-born Woods - a former youth player at Leeds United - has previously played for Chelsea, Yeovil Town and Doncaster and signed for the Conference North side in 2013.

The 24-year-old has represented England at U-16, U-17 and U-19 level.

Cooper is looking to add experience to his midfield options with former Premier League midfielders Michael Brown, Jonathan Greening and David Prutton very much on the club’s radar as Cooper looks to strengthen.

League Two rivals Bury are also said to be tracking Brown.

The Pools camp returned to training at Durham yesterday morning following last week’s pre-season training camp at La Cala Resort, in Spain.

Trialists Eugen Bopp, a central midfield player, and defender Biko Bradnock-Brennan - who both flew to Spain with the Pools first team squad - are also still training with the club and are set to play some part this evening.