If there is one commodity James Poole is not short on, it’s talent.
The former Hartlepool United forward is a leading light for Salford City and he will be looking to turn out the lights on his old club in the FA Cup tomorrow night.
The lads here were made up for me because they know what it means to meJAMES POOLE
Poole was man of the match in the first round when he inspired the non-league side to a 2-0 victory over Notts County at Moor Lane in front of the TV cameras.
There was great endeavour, as you would expect from the Evo Stik Northern Premier League outfit, but from Poole there was a lot of quality.
Another commodity the 25-year-old is not shy of is honesty.
Poole got through a century of appearances for Pools and showed some of his ability. Who can also forget the famous ‘Hartley Poole’ photo after Peter Hartley and James scored in the 2-1 home win over Notts County a couple of years back.
Poole loved his time at the Vic and speaks fondly of the club he joined after leaving boyhood club, Manchester City. But he admitted to SportMail that he wished he’d done better.
“As much as I enjoyed my time at Hartlepool, I was frustrated I could not nail down more consistent performances,” he said.
“At times, that got to me a bit. I can’t really put my finger on why, but I could not find true consistency.
“No-one was more frustrated about it than me – I had some good times, but there were weeks when I did not play as well as I knew I was capable of.
“I think I started well under Mick Wadsworth, but I got some injuries at bad times and it was a little stop-start.
“But that’s how it goes sometimes. Overall, I have nothing but fondness about my three years at Hartlepool.
“I’m still friends with some of the players and I got some nice messages off people in the backroom staff and the office after the Notts County win.
“Hartlepool is a really nice club and when this draw came out, the lads here were made up for me because they know what it means to me.”
Poole is a very happy man – and not just because of the FA Cup.
He works for the club he supports, Manchester City, operating in the department which deals with City’s sister clubs around the world in New York, Melbourne and Yokohama.
Poole was not upset to drop down into non-league football with Salford City and hopes to help the ambitious club win promotion to National League North (formerly known as Conference North).
“I have a plenty on my plate at the moment,” said the Stockport-born forward.
“I’m happy to be involved with Man City, it was an amazing opportunity to work there.
“I am studying for a business management degree as well and playing for Salford allows me to do all this.
“Me and my girlfriend, Jasmine, moved in together six months ago and I feel really content with my life.
“And to be playing against Hartlepool in the FA Cup, it could not get any better.”