Brad Walker enjoys fresh start at Hartlepool United

Brad Walker is happy to be back on the field enjoying a fresh start and putting his frustrations behind him.

Thursday, 26th January 2017, 9:00 am
Brad Walker escapes a flyong challenge from Stevenage's Dale Gorman. Picture by TOM BANKS

The midfielder was restored to the Hartlepool United starting XI by Sam Collins last Saturday against Stevenage.

Walker repaid the caretaker manager’s faith by scoring the vital second goal in the 2-0 victory.

Now the 21-year-old is set to carry on in the middle for new boss Dave Jones in Saturday’s vital League Two trip to Newport County.

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Despite being a long-time admirer of the Billingham-born player, previous manager Craig Hignett barely used him this season, just two games in the Checkatrade Trophy and the dying minutes of Higgy’s last match, the 1-0 defeat at Crawley.

He hopes now that he can take advantage of the fresh start.

“I have been frustrated all season,” he explained.

“I was due a chance.

“We haven’t been that good in front of goal for a while and I always felt I could help in that department.

“To get on and score a goal has put me right back in it.

“I have been trying to get back on the pitch – I kept asking the old gaffer and he said my chance would come.

“Now, it is time to prove myself but it is a fresh start for everyone.

“I think everyone did themselves justice with a clean sheet and three points.”

Walker, who made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2013, hopes the new regime will get Pools moving again.

“We are not where we want to be at the minute, so the hard work starts here,” he said.

The youth team product says he has been impressed by Jones and his backroom team of assistant boss Kevin Cooper and coach Alex Armstrong.

“The coaches he has brought in are great,” said Walker.

“The gaffer has been there and done that – the Premier League, FA Cup finals.

“You can only learn from him.

“It has given us a lift. He has worked with many top players in his time.

“Being a young lad I need to learn and there is no better person to do that from here.

“He is one of the best managers we’ve had at this club.”