Pears becomes Hartlepool United assistant

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HARTLEPOOL United have confirmed Stephen Pears will be the new assistant manager ending months of speculation.

The former Boro and Pools stopper will also double up as goalkeeping coach at the Sky Bet League Two club and will be joining the pre-season training camp in Spain next week.

Manager Colin Cooper has spoken of his “delight” at the appointment.

The arrival of Brandon-born Pears will come as a welcome relief to the Pools manager who has been without a permanent number two since March.

Pears’ arrival came almost four months to the day since Craig Hignett’s shock departure to Middlesbrough, where he became Aitor Karanka’s assistant.

Following Hignett’s departure, director of youth John Hewitson stepped up to assist with first-team duties at Pools but after months of speculation Cooper finally has his new man in place.

Earlier this week, Cooper said: “It is not something I have taken lightly.

“There have been people I have spoken to, but I am delighted with the choice.”

The pair have previously worked together in the coaching set-up at Boro.

A club statement said: “Hartlepool United are delighted to announce the appointment of Stephen Pears as the new assistant manager and goalkeeping coach.

“The experienced Pears has previously spent six years as goalkeeping coach at Middlesbrough where he worked closely alongside Pools boss Colin Cooper.”