Former Victoria Park star Antony Sweeney is set to gain some coaching experience with Pools next season after the midfielder agreed a role working in the Club’s Academy.
Sweeney came through the ranks at The Vic before going on to score 62 goals in 444 outings to move third in the Club’s all-time appearance list prior to his departure for Carlisle United in 2014.
The 32-year-old still has plenty left in the tank and Gateshead moved quickly to snap him up earlier this week following his exit from Brunton Park – and he could prove an inspired signing for the National League outfit.
While Sweeney insists that his main focus will remain on playing and doing his best for his new club, the move has also allowed him to take up a coaching role working with youngsters at Pools.
Under the guidance of Ian McGuckin and alongside Keith Nobbs, he will be looking after the Club’s Under-16 side next term and he is excited by the chance to be involved.
“I did a little bit of coaching with the Club’s Under-15s when I was here as a player; that was brilliant experience for me and I really enjoyed doing it,” Sweeney explained.
“When I was given the opportunity to come back and work with the young players again it was something I jumped at and I can’t wait to get started.
“I have stood in the shoes of every one of those players in the Under-16s at some point, albeit a long time ago, so hopefully that will help me and them.
“It will just be really nice to be working alongside Gucky (Ian McGuckin) and Nobbsy (Keith Nobbs) and learning as much as I can from them as we go along.
“It’s all-change for me in the last week or so but this is a great chance to dip in to coaching while also continuing my playing career which is still the main thing for me.”
Pools Academy Manager John Hewitson is thrilled that Sweeney is going to be passing on his expertise to the future stars of Victoria Park and says his arrival is a big coup for the Club.
“He’s someone from the local area who has progressed through the ranks at this Club in the past and gone on to make hundreds and hundreds of Football League appearances,” enthused Hewitson.
“To have someone of that calibre and with that experience and knowledge coming to share that with our young players is a real feather in the cap for us so I’m delighted.”