New boy Ben Pollock is targeting a place in Hartlepool United’s first team squad

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New boy Ben Pollock wants to make an impact sooner rather than later at Hartlepool United.

The teenager has signed his first pro contract at Pools after a successful trial period following his release by Newcastle United in March.

“I’ll be looking to work hard and try to impress the gaffer and earn a shirt.”

Ben Pollock

Pollock skippered the Toon’s youth team and also played for the U21 side in the Barclays Premier Reserve League.

He was signed by boss Craig Hignett as ‘one for the future’ along with fellow teenage defender James Martin and Durham University keeper Ben Dudzinski.

But don’t tell that to Pollock who, despite his youth and inexperience, is targeting a place in the first team squad, as soon as he gets back to Maiden Castle.

“I’m looking forward to a good summer,” the 18-year-old told SportMail.

“But I can’t wait to come back for pre-season.

“I’ll be looking to work hard and try to impress the gaffer and earn a shirt.”

Pollock has clearly already impressed Hignett and first-team coach Curtis Fleming otherwise he would not be spending at least the next season at the League Two side.

They will like his hunger and determination that he does not think he’s coming to make up the squad numbers and play reserve-team football.

“I knew quite a lot of the youth players anyway and the senior players made me feel welcome very quickly,” said Pollock.

“The football philosophy the gaffer has here is what I was taught at Newcastle.

“Being comfortable with that helped me settle and I enjoyed training and the reserve and youth team games I played.

“Hartlepool don’t lump the ball forward they play football and that suits me

“Training around the first team was great for me during my trial period and it will be fantastic to be involved when I go back as a professional.

“I enjoyed my time at Newcastle, I got to captain the Youth Team and got some Under 21 fixtures.

“That was all a good standard but the opportunity to play in League Two is exciting.”

Pollock already has a good grounding in football and not just from his time at Newcastle United.

His dad is former Premier League player, Jamie, who enjoyed a long career, playin in the midfield for Middlesbrough, Man City, Bolton and Crystal Palace.

Hignett and Fleming are old team-mates of Pollock Snr and Pollock Jnr hopes to progress thanks to the men who first saw him as a toddler.

“The gaffer is spot on with the players and he’s a great coach,” said the Bolton-born centre-half.

“Flem obviously has a lot of experience as a top defender and I hope to learn from his expertise and improve as a player.”