Football - Cooper tips Duckworth to shine

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper believes Michael Duckworth can become a mainstay of the side over the next few years.

PA Sport Report

The 21-year-old defender was handed a first Football League start at the weekend following his move from Skrill North side Bradford Park Avenue.

Duckworth had initially impressed during a trial period in pre-season before signing a month-to-month deal with the League Two club.

And Cooper is hopeful that the right-back's stay at Victoria Park will be a long one.

"Michael looks exactly what his ex-manager (John Deacey) told me he would be - a player who is too good not to be playing league football," he told the Hartlepool Mail.

"He has shown me that he's more than capable of coping (with) what we throw at him.

"Can he now impose himself in league football? That's the challenge for him.

"But I think he will and I hope he can be an asset to this football club for many years to come."

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