The Football League season starts this weekend and I’m hoping that my old club Hartlepool United have a real crack at promotion in League Two.
I have a friend who knows people up there and I hear plenty of really, really good things about Colin Cooper. I heard an anecdote that in the first few weeks of his time at Victoria Park, one of the board members saw that he had all these white boards with names written up.
One was for injured players, one was for transfer targets, another was for players that they were keeping an eye on, and another was for possible team line-ups. It is pretty standard practice, but in the lower leagues it might not be. I think it was a bit of a surprise to this guy, who had never seen that kind of thing before.
Colin's response was that if it’s good enough for the Premier League – and he would have experience of that, having played at the very top level – then it is good enough for Hartlepool United.
That’s the kind of attitude that you need to have to succeed at that level, and I think that Hartlepool will have a bit of a go this year. I really hope they do because I’ve got a lot of time for Colin, who is a manager on the way up. I wish them, Gateshead and Carlisle United the best of luck this year.