BRAD Walker is looking to emulate fellow teen sensation Luke James by keeping improving and producing even more for Hartlepool United.
Walker came into the Pools team aged just shy of 17 years, four months, and went on to become one of the side’s stand-out performers.
The midfielder, from Billingham, made 31 appearances and scored three stunning goals and was named young player of the year.
James, still a youngster at the age of 19, was only 17 years and one month when he made a great entrance into the League One side, being made man of the match on his full debut.
And two seasons on, James was the star turn for the side, scoring 16 and winning a Player of the Year trophy double.
Walker has watched, in awe, at the achievements of the Northumberland lad.
“Luke has been a massive asset for this club,” Walker told SportMail.
“He came into the first team at the age I did and he’s been brilliant, how well he’s played and all the goals he’s scored.
“Luke kept us in the league – he’s been excellent.”
And Walker is looking to do a James by continuing to learn and develop all his attributes.
“I thought I had a chance of being in or around the first team, but to play 30-odd games has been incredible,” he explained.
“I never thought it would be that good.
“Now I just want to kick on.
“I’ve learned a lot since my debut at Rochdale.
“You watch the Premier League and you see players getting time on the ball.
“In League Two, you don’t get a moment to breathe.
“They [the opposition] are so tight all the time so I’ve learned quite a lot.
“I will now try to do what I’ve been doing but get better, get extra fitness, agility.
“You have always got to look to keep improving.”