Riga wants Bart as number two

Bart De Roover
Bart De Roover
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Manager Jose Riga has named Bart De Roover as the man he wants to be his number two at Blackpool.

The former Belgium international was at Bloomfield Road yesterday to be shown around and to hold talks about the vacant assistant manager’s post.

After hanging up his boots in 1999, De Roover moved into management with Belgian lower league sides before getting his big break as manager of top flight club Royal Antwerp in 2011. He more recently coached at Al-Ahli Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Riga hopes to make his 46-year-old compatriot, who played five times for the Belgian national side, his first appointment as he builds his backroom staff.

As well as an assistant manager, Pool aim to appoint a first-team coach, fitness coach and kit man. Tom Breakspear has been named as the new first-team analyst.

With no other backroom staff and only seven players so far under contract for next season, a sense of urgency is growing around Bloomfield Road with pre-season training due to begin next week.

Chairman Karl Oyston insisted a week ago that progress was being made, but the lack of news coming out of the club in recent days has tested supporters’ patience.

Pool’s only pre-season friendly so far arranged is at home to Premier League Burnley on August 2, a week before the Championship season begins with a trip to Nottingham Forest.

Riga is hoping to take his squad overseas for a warm-weather training camp in mid-July, which would include two friendlies against local sides.