Hartlepool Utd duo can go to the top says Chesterfield’s Humphreys

Ritchie Humphreys celebrates scoring Pools second goal during the 3-2 victory over Sheffield United. Picture by FRANK REID
Ritchie Humphreys celebrates scoring Pools second goal during the 3-2 victory over Sheffield United. Picture by FRANK REID
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JACK Baldwin and Luke James will embrace football’s highest plains – because they long to do so.

That is the view of Ritchie Humphreys who played with the duo during his final two years at Pools.

Humphreys faced the pair for the first time during the Boxing Day match at Chesterfield and has been hearing news of their development throughout the season.

Striker James, 18, and defender Baldwin, 20, have been courting the attention of numerous Premier League and Championship scouts, including Arsenal who whose onlookers were spotted at Newport in November.

It is thought Pools would command near the £1 million figure for the stars and should they move to pastures new Humphreys wouldn’t be surprised.

He told SportMail: “When I was at the club I was always impressed with them.

“As an older player you help them out the best you can.

“They both came through different routes, Luke the ranks and Jack through non-league – and they both want to succeed.

“They are willing to listen, learn and progress – and they are really good attributes to have as a footballer.

“They’ve got talent too.

“Jack reads the game so well, is excellent on the ball and can play in a few positions.

“As for Luke you know he will score you goals.”

Humphreys himself was at the centre of the spotlight as a teenager at Sheffield Wednesday but a variety of reasons meant he never stayed at the upper echelons of the pyramid for very long.

The Pools legend, though, does not see that fate repeating itself with Baldwin and James.

He added: “It’s down to opportunity and I’m sure if they get it they will jump at it.

“Out of all the youth players I’ve played with, these two want it.

“They want to be the best they can be and succeed.

“If they’re doing well then Pools are doing well.”