“James Poole lacked consistency at Hartlepool Utd”

James Poole at the end of the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID
James Poole at the end of the game against Exeter City. Picture by FRANK REID

COLIN Cooper believes departed Hartlepool United forward James Poole lacked consistency during his time at the club but has wished him well for the future.

The 24-year-old - who is considering moves aboard to either America or Australia - turned down the offer of a new contract at the club after fours years at Victoria Park.

During that time, Poole netted just 16 goals in 113 appearances, although he was more than capable of hitting the back of the net with a stunning strike.

While Cooper insists Poole has great potential his former manager said he didn’t show it enough on a consistent basis.

“All you can do is make people an offer,” explained Cooper.

“I threw James a challenge down at the end of the season because I think for the years he had been at Hartlepool his numbers and statistics prove his consistency levels have not been high enough.

“I didn’t feel all season he was right and was playing catch-up after a pre-season injury.

“People said to me that Poolie is a one in three, one in four, one in five player and I saw a lot of potential in him and that is why I wanted him to stay at the football club.

“I thought I’d made him a reasonable offer based on what has happened but that was his choice to leave.

“I spoke to him at length on Tuesday and he has chosen to seek a new challenge, I wish him well.

“It gives me the opportunity to bring somebody in who, with respect to James, may be better than what we actually had.”

When it was finally confirmed Poole was leaving the Sky Bet League Two club the forward said now is the “right time” to move on after rejecting the contract offer.

The 24-year-old forward is yet to find a new club but it is understood to be pondering a move to America or Australia to continue his football career.

Speaking earlier this week, Poole said: “It just feels like the right time to move and try something new, but I’ll take with me some good memories of Hartlepool United.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here.”

The forward made a permanent move to Victoria Park in the summer of 2011 after a spell on loan the previous campaign, spending three months here during 2010-11 while on the books as a trainee at Manchester City.

Last season he turned out 39 times for Cooper’s side – including 14 sub appearances but only managed to score four goals.

- RICHARD MENNEAR