CHRISTIAN Burgess can’t wait for his first Christmas playing first-team football and hopes it will be a successful period for Hartlepool United, writes Richard Mennear.
The 22-year-old central defender has been enjoying his loan spell at Pools since joining from Championship side Middlesbrough FC and says he is looking forward to the festive spell of Sky Bet League Two matches, starting away at top-of-the-table Chesterfield on Boxing Day.
Pools then find themselves on the road again visiting Morecambe on Sunday, December 29, before a New Year’s Day fixture against Bury at Victoria Park.
The first-team will be training at The Vic on the morning of Christmas Day but that is no problem for the commanding centre half.
Essex-born Burgess said: “This is my first time over the festive period being involved and we have been given our schedule and I’m looking forward to the run of games.
“The training sessions will be lighter and there is a lot more rest to compensate for it.
“I am looking forward to it and the Boxing Day fixture is always a fantastic fixture.”
West Ham United fan Burgess, from Redbridge in Essex, began his career in Arsenal’s Academy but was released and then featured for Bishop’s Stortford’s Youth and Reserve teams but then fell out of the professional game.
After trials at West Ham United, Spurs and Boro he was given the chance to revive his career and signed for the Teessiders and he is now looking forward to playing in his first Boxing Day match.
Burgess added: “I used to go to West Ham United and watch it and that was always something my family did, so I will be delighted to be involved.
“We will be training Christmas Day but I’m fine with that.
“My family are coming up and the lads will go back to their families afterwards.
“It is something you have to do. It is part of being a footballer.
“They are not our holidays and it is just like any other day before a game, we have to prepare, do a bit of shape and maybe have a little stretch and relax.”
Pools, currently 14th in League Two, take on table-toppers Chesterfield at The Proact Stadium but they hold no fear to Burgess.
He added: “They are looking like a good side and it will be a tough game but on our day we can beat anyone.
“We have shown that against numerous League One and League Two sides.
“We are going there in a positive mind set and hopefully we will get in front first and ask them the question.
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“It would be lovely to get on a Christmas run.
“By not losing against Burton at the weekend and coming from behind we have set the foundation and now if we can go to Chesterfield and Morecambe and get a couple of results there it would be fantastic.
“We are not that far off the play-offs but we have got to start winning games because we have drawn too many recently.”