Cooper relishing Di Canio showdown
Hartlepool boss Neale Cooper is looking forward to pitting his wits against Paolo Di Canio on the opening day of the season.
Pool will begin the 2012/13 campaign at Victoria Park against the League Two champions, who are managed by the flamboyant Italian.
Cooper told his club's official website: "Paolo did a wonderful job there last season and I think they're one of the teams fancied to do well in the new campaign.
"He's a great character and I've always liked him a lot even when he was a player. He's a winner and that's the type of person I admire so I'm looking forward to meeting him in August.
"I am sure he will make some additions to his squad and make them a force to be reckoned with but we're at home and it's really exciting to open the season in front of our own fans.
"We all enjoy a break but really we're just so excited about getting back and competing again. This is a tough league, we know that, but all you can ask for is a home game to start so we're pleased."