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Club News

Hartlepool United & Rochdale Preview

25 July 2013

PNE make the longest journey of their pre-season campaign on Friday as they travel across the country to face Hartlepool United, before visiting Rochdale on Saturday.

The games will be played on consecutive days by the Lilywhites squad - their last warm-up matches before competitive action starts on August 3rd.

Hartlepool have had a mixed bag of pre-season results, winning two, drawing two and losing one, though they will take heart from their ability to hold Championship side Middlesbrough to a goalless stalemate at Victoria Park.

The game against Pools should provide a good test for North End, with Colin Cooper’s side having been in League One for the best part of six years – until their relegation last season.

The League Two outfit have been quiet in the transfer market, though they have signed winger Jack Compton from Colchester United.

Captain Richard Humphreys has left the Club, with midfielder Anthony Sweeney taking the armband following the full back’s departure.

Meanwhile, Lancashire outfit Rochdale have had a storming pre-season, winning four of their five fixtures so far and only drawing against Championship club Blackburn Rovers.

Northwich Victoria, Halifax Town, Stalybridge Celtic and Macclesfield Town have all been put to the sword by Keith Hill’s side in their preparation for the new campaign.

In contract to Hartlepool, Dale have been busy this transfer window, signing the likes of defender Ashley Eastham, midfielder Matthew Lund and winger Matt Done.

However, they have sold star striker Bobby Grant to Blackpool and released Andy Haworth, who has since signed for Notts County. 

Team News

Although Stuart Beavon is close to returning to training, the striker is set to miss both games with the knee injury he sustained in PNE’s match against Chorley.

Iain Hume is ready to make his comeback for the Lilywhites and should play a part against either Hartlepool or Rochdale.

The Manager

Colin Cooper was appointed in his first permanent managerial role by Hartlepool United on 24th May 2013.

He started his playing career at Middlesbrough, as a trainee, in 1984 and went on to make over 200 appearances for the Club before Millwall paid £300,000 for his services in 1991.

In his two years at the Den, Cooper impressed by scoring six league goals and established himself as one of the premier defenders in the league.

Nottingham Forest won the race for his signature in 1993 and Cooper went on to flourish at the City Ground, winning his first England cap in 1995.

Surprisingly, the future manager was re-signed by Middlesbrough after five years at Forest, and remained at the North East club for the remainder of his career – other than a short loan spell at Sunderland in 2004.

He retired from the professional game in 2006, following Boro’s mesmerising run to the UEFA Cup final, only to lose to Spanish club Sevilla at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.

Once his playing career ended, he was immediately handed a role at Middlesbrough as Reserve team coach before eventually being promoted to assistant manager in 2009.

Then, in October of that year, following Gareth Southgate’s departure, Cooper was appointed as caretaker manager at the Riverside.

Ironically, in his short spell in charge, the ex-England international led Boro to a 2-2 draw with PNE!

He would later leave the Club and join Peter Jackson at League Two team Bradford, before being made caretaker manager for a single game at Valley Parade – winning 4-2 against Barnet. 

In September 2011, Cooper left the Bantams and again re-joined Middlesbrough, to coach the U18s, before being appointed manager of current club Hartlepool earlier this summer.

Lancashire-lad Keith Hill is in his second managerial spell with Rochdale, having enjoyed five years as head coach at Spotland Stadium between 2006 and 2011.

The defender started his career at Blackburn, making over 100 appearances for Rovers before moving to Plymouth Argyle in 1992.

In his four years with the Pilgrims he scored two goals in 151 games for the Club and moved to Rochdale on a free transfer in 1996.

After six years at Spotland, Hill had a short spell at Cheltenham – during which he was loaned out to Welsh club Wrexham – and then finished his career on the coast with Morecambe.

Following his retirement, he was immediately employed by Rochdale as Director of Youth and was made caretaker manager once Steve Parkin was dismissed by the Club.

He was appointed as permanent boss in January 2007 and, after two failed attempts, eventually guided the Club to promotion to League One, via the Play-Offs.

In 2011, he became manager of Barnsley but failed to make an impact at Oakwell, returning to Dale in January of this year.

Ticket Information

Prices on the gates will be just £13 for adults, while concessions (U16s or 60+) will gain entry for only £6. The game itself will kick off at 7pm and the Lilywhites fans will occupy the Smith & Graham Stand.

It’s just £10 for adults to attend PNE’s clash with Rochdale at Spotland Stadium, while 16-year-olds and under can get in for only £5. The game will kick off at 3pm and North End supporters will be housed in the Willbutts Lane Stand.


Head up the M6 and across the A66 to Scotch Corner, get on the A1 (M) until the A19. From the A19, take the A689 towards Hartlepool.

Stay on this road, following the Town Centre signs, for 2.8 miles, over two roundabouts. Go straight over the next two sets of lights, passing Hartlepool College on your right.

The next left takes you to the stadium. There is a fair-sized car park at the ground. Otherwise there is some street parking albeit a bit of a distance from the stadium, as residents only parking scheme is in operation on matchdays around the ground.

Exit the M62 at junction 20 and take the A627 (M) towards Rochdale. At the end of the A627 (M) you should be in the left hand lane to turn left at the traffic lights.

Follow the road, with Tesco on your left, and go straight over the next set of lights into Roch Valley Way. At the next crossroads go straight into Sandy Lane, where the ground can be found approximately ¾ mile on the right. 

Commentary Information

Usual PNE Player commentator Jonathan Breeze will provide a play by play account of North End’s clash with Hartlepool, with a second commentator yet to be named. 

Former PNE striker Jon Macken will join Anthony Wareing to provide PNE Player with live commentary from the Lilywhites game against Rochdale.

Macken spent five years at Deepdale as a player, scoring 74 goals in 229 appearances for the Club, and so is well placed to give his view on proceedings at Spotland Stadium.

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