Hartlepool United’s Cooper sets sights on one more friendly date

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COLIN Cooper is looking to add one further friendly to Hartlepool United’s pre-season programme, writes ROY KELLY.

The Pools boss will take his squad for some warm-weather training to a complex near Malaga on July 6 and, after a week in Spain, will build up to the start of the Sky Bet League Two campaign on August 9.

Pools will visit Yorkshire twice, travelling to Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, July 19, and Whitby Town the following Saturday.

In between is a home match with Sunderland on July 23, while Middlesbrough visit on July 30, giving summer siging Matthew Bates the chance to line up against his old club.

“I’m very happy with what we’ve arranged so far,” Cooper said. “Spain will be good, the facilities there are excellent.

“I’m pleased with the matches we have, but we are still one game short.

“We were let down (for the Saturday, August 2 weekend) and I’m trying to figure how best to fill that gap.

“I will look to fill that space we have with probably a Friday night game, home or away.”

Cooper was today meeting his first-team staff to map out the pre-season preparations.

The players return from their summer break on Tuesday.