Hartlepool back in for Healy

IT COULD be third time lucky for Hartlepool United, in their quest to sign Ipswich Town’s Colin Healy.

The north-east club are poised to resume their interest in Healy, following failed attempts last summer and again at the start of this year.

Healy is deemed to be surplus to requirements at Portman Road, with manager Roy Keane reported to be prepared to let fringe players like Healy, Alan Quinn, Alex Bruce and Owen Garvan all leave during the close-season.

And Healy, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Falkirk, already has a welcome assured at Hartlepool, if he chooses to drop down a division and take a wage-cut.

The 30-year-old, recruited by Keane from Cork City last summer, has never found his feet at Portman Road.

He started four games in August, two in the Championship and two in the Carling Cup, but was then frozen out of the squad.

In fact, the Irishman made just one more surprise outing, at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, when he played behind lone front-man Jon Stead in a 3-1 defeat. Stead was sent off in that match, and an out-of-sorts Healy was substituted after 68 minutes.

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A few days later and the Republic of Ireland international was on his way to Falkirk, where he was a virtual ever-present, although he failed to help keep the Bairns in the Scottish Premier Division. Falkirk were relegated on the final day of the season.

Last summer, Hartlepool were pipped at the post by Ipswich, despite having a �100,000 bid accepted in the race to sign Healy.

Pools boss Chris Turner had been hoping to sign the Cork City duo of Denis Behan and Healy.

Striker Behan signed in the morning, and while Healy went away to think over the deal, Town boss Keane is believed to have telephoned him that afternoon to offer him a move to Ipswich, for more money.

Six months later and when it was clear that Healy was unwanted at Town, Turner again tried to sign the player on a loan deal in the new year. This time Falkirk scuppered the plan, with Turner recruiting another former Cork midfielder, Joe Gamble, instead.

Now Turner will try for a third time to snap up Healy, either on a season-long loan or a permanent contract. The ex-Celtic, Sunderland and Barnsley midfield general still has a year to run on his contract.

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