Hartlepool United tie down FOUR stars to deals

Aaron Cunningham, Kenton Richardson, Josh Hawkes & Ryan Catterick.

Aaron Cunningham, Kenton Richardson, Josh Hawkes & Ryan Catterick.

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Hartlepool United have tied down FOUR young stars to professional contracts.

The club today announced that Ryan Catterick, Aaron Cunningham, Josh Hawkes, and Kenton Richardson have been rewarded for their performances for the club's youth team and emergence around the fringes of the senior side with pro terms.

Academy manager John Hewitson admits he was delighted for the quartet, and says manager Dave Jones has been impressed with what he has seen from the youngsters in his time at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium helm.

"As an academy we’re here to produce players for the first team so I am delighted to see the four of them sign their professional deals," he said.

"The new manager has come in and seen these players for himself so we haven’t really had to do much pushing – he can see what they’re capable of and how much potential they all have.

"They’ve now been given the opportunity to push their careers on and it shows the outside world that there is a massive pathway for young players at Hartlepool United."

Catterick, 17, is a goalkeeper who joined the club at the age of 13 from hometown club Middlesbrough, and has been on the Pools bench this season with injuries to Trevor Carson and Adam Bartlett opening the door.

Cunningham, 18, is a central defender capable of playing in midfield, while Hawkes, who debuted against Crewe in February, has become a regular in the first-team squad of late as an attacking midfield option.

Richardson, 17, completes the foursome. He is a young right-back who has already made eight senior appearances for the club after making his debut against Mansfield last month.