Yeovil Town's on loan Middlesbrough pair Jonathan Grounds and Jonathan Franks are attracting the interest of one of their League One rivals. Hartlepool United have just visited Huish Park, and manager Neale Cooper witnessed Grounds put in another strong 90 minutes as a left-back in the Glovers back line.
Cooper was appointed as Hartlepool's manager last December, and with his side more or less safe from relegation on 50 points for the season, he is now turning his attention towards next season.
Most notable for him was that Grounds and Franks are local lads, from Thornaby-on-Tees and Stockton-on-Tees respectively, and both are not expected to be offered new deals with their parent club at the end of the season, leaving them as free agents in the summer. Cooper didn't see Franks play, due to the rules concerning the number of loan players allowed in a matchday squad, but told the Hartlepool Mail that he was interested in both, and was impressed with what he saw of Grounds on the day:
"If everything is still fine, and Iím still here, then I would like to bring in players who I feel could strengthen the side Ė thatís the exciting part. We can build something here. Thereís some players who, added to, can make a very good team. I like the lad Jonathan Franks, who couldnít get on the bench on Saturday. I also thought Jonathan Grounds did well, he was comfortable, strong and athletic. So Iíll keep looking because itís an important time coming up and thereís areas we have to strengthen once the season ends."
With Grounds and Franks remaining as Boro players for the time being, there isn't a lot that the Glovers can do here, except to persuade both players verbally that their future would be better off in Somerset. However, this was the problem that they had last season with Manchester City midfielder Andrew Tutte; when local side Rochdale came calling, with Tutte's former youth team boss Steve Eyre at the helm, he chose not to extend his stay at Huish Park, and instead remained in the North-West.
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