Hartlepool United have confirmed that striker Steve Howard has left the club by mutual consent.
The 37-year-old had fallen out of favour under Colin Cooper this season and his contract was due to expire at the end of the current campaign. The club has now reached an agreement with Howard that brings his second spell at Victoria Park to an end.
The club has said the agreement will reduce its costs and help them adhere to the Football League Salary Capping requirements. Pools added that it allows flexibility for recruiting loan players should they be needed.
Howard first joined Hartlepool in 1995 and spent four years with the club until he left for Northampton Town in 1999. He then rejoined Pools as a free agent in 2012 after being released by Leicester City.
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Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper says he's hoping to follow up last weekend's draw at Bristol Rovers with another good result when Pools host Oxford United on Saturday.
Former Hartlepool United veteran Ritchie Humphreys has been elected as the new Chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association.
The 35-year-old, who spent 12 years with Pools from 2001 to 2013, succeeds Clarke Carlisle in the role after being chosen by the PFA's Management Committee.
Humphrey's told the organisation's official website: "I am fully committed to the role that the PFA plays across all areas of football and will make every effort to continue the great work which Clarke has put in during his time as Chairman.”
Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper says he could still add to his squad before the end of the current transfer window.
Among the new arrivals is defender Christian Burgess, who has joined on loan from Middlesbrough. Striker Nialle Rodney has also arrived at Victoria Park as a free agent. But Cooper says he's still looking at potential signings.
Rochdale 3 - 0 Hartlepool United
York 1 - 0 Northampton
Rochdale v Hartlepool United
York v Northampton
Kick off: 3pm.
Colin Cooper took charge of his first home game as Hartlepool United boss with Pools hosting North East rivals Middlesbrough in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.
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Colin Cooper has told Hartlepool United fans he desperately wants to succeed and he's looking forward to the challenge of managing the club. The former Middlesbrough and Sunderland player gave his first press conference after being named as first team Manager. Julia Barthram was there.
Colin Cooper has held his first press conference since being named as First Team Manager for Hartlepool United. Craig Hignett will be his assistant. The former Middlesbrough player becomes the sixth manager at the club in four and a half years.