Former Leeds United and Chelsea prospect Michael Woods confident of bright future at Hartlepool United

Elland Road Revie Stand

Former Leeds United and Chelsea prospect Michael Woods has thanked ex-Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper for believing in him and is determined to make the most of his ‘second chance’.

Woods was once considered as a promising young talent and was snapped up by Chelsea from Leeds in 2006.

The 24-year-old was on the books of the Premier League outfit until 2011, when he was released. Since then, the former England Under-19 international has struggled to have a successful time anywhere, injuries and loss of form impeding the progress he was expected to make when he was young.

Last season Woods played for Harrogate Town in the Conference North and in the summer transfer window he was signed by Hartlepool.

Cooper was sacked by the League Two outfit earlier this month, but Woods is grateful to the 47-year-old for having faith in him and making him a first-team regular.

‘This is my second chance’, he told The Hartlepool Mail. ‘There have been some very tough times in recent years, times when you are on and off an injury bed for three or four years and when it is operation after operation it is tough.

‘You do question yourself at times and question whether you can come back and do it. Because of that I will always be grateful to Colin (Cooper) for giving me the opportunity to come back into the Football League. It is now up to me to keep the shirt and look to build on the win on Saturday with a few more’.

Hartlepool, who got the better of Exeter City 2-1 away from home on Saturday, are currently 21st in the League Two table with 11 points from 12 matches, just a point above the relegation zone.

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