Stephenson confirmed as coach

The long-running saga of Paul Stephenson's move to Norwich City as first team coach is over, manager Glenn Roeder confirmed today.Hartlepool United had been reluctant to formally release the 39-year-old former Newcastle and Millwall winger from his post as youth team coach.

The long-running saga of Paul Stephenson's move to Norwich City as first team coach is over, manager Glenn Roeder confirmed today.

Hartlepool United had been reluctant to formally release the 39-year-old former Newcastle and Millwall winger from his post as youth team coach.

But Roeder said: "Paul Stephenson has finally been released by Hartlepool. It has taken longer than expected but I think it was worth the wait.

"He will make a big impression with the squad. I think that with three different types of personality with Lee, myself and Paul, we will make a good team."

A contemporary of Paul Gascoigne at Newcastle and in the England Youth side, Stephenson has been with the Canaries over the past week. He was sitting in the directors' box at Saturday's game against Coventry, and was in the dug-out for Tuesday night's victory at Blackpool.

It was reported that Hartlepool chairman Ken Hodcroft was refusing to sanction Stephenson's departure until certain demands were met.

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There will be some benefit to the North East club now the move has been agreed.

"We will probably help Hartlepool out with one or two loan players," said Roeder.