Sweeney deserves big hand, insists old pal Flinders

Antony Sweeney returns to Hartlepool with Carlisle tomorrow

Antony Sweeney returns to Hartlepool with Carlisle tomorrow

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CARLISLE boss Keith Curle could have former Pools midfielder Antony Sweeney in his midfield for tomorrow’s League Two crunch showdown at Hartlepool United.

The 31-year-old left Victoria Park in the summer, after turning down a contract offer, for a new opportunity.

Pools keeper Scott Flinders believes Sweeney deserves a warm welcome on his return – if he manages to shake off a shoulder injury in time.

Flinders, who played with the midfielder for five years, said: “We all know what Sweens is like and he deserves a good applause from the fans if he plays.

“He was a decent servant and we will welcome him with open arms.

“But as soon as the whistle blows it is us against them.”

Stockton-born Sweeney made 444 appearances for Pools, scoring 62 goals, but he found first-team opportunities hard to come by under boss Colin Cooper last season.

Cooper, though, will be giving Sweeney a warm welcome back to Victoria Park.

He added: “Antony will be awarded a warm welcome from me and I would hope from our fans after what he has given them.

“That is if he is fit, I understand he may be struggling, but he is a great guy and was offered an opportunity to stay here.

“He chose something different, but you can only wish him well.”