By Rory Mitchinson

GATESHEAD can confirm that midfielder Antony Sweeney has left the club to take up a full-time coaching position with Hartlepool United.

Antony Sweeney

Sweeney, 32, put pen to paper on his new role at Victoria Park on Thursday morning, sealing his return to the club he served for more than a decade as a player.

The Teessider only arrived at the International Stadium in May, having spent the previous two years with League Two side Carlisle United.

He figured in all six of the Heed’s pre-season friendlies – starting in three – but has since found playing time harder to come by.

Sweeney has been restricted to just one competitive appearance for the club, entering the fray as a second-half substitute at Forest Green Rovers.

There, he almost notched a dramatic late winner for the Tynesiders, only to head against the underside of the crossbar from six yards.

Chairman Richard Bennett said: “When Antony joined us in May, we knew there was a chance his UEFA A Licence would come through, though we did not anticipate it to happen as soon as it has.

“We owe him the chance to further his coaching career, and this opportunity was too good for him to come down.

“We always said that we’d never stand in his way if the chance came up.

“We wish him the very best of luck – it’s just a shame we didn’t see more of him in action.”

(Photography: Charlie Waugh)

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