Hartlepool boss signs son of former Middlesbrough star

Craig Hignett with Ben Pollock
Craig Hignett with Ben Pollock

Craig Hignett will be looking to bring in some quality signings into the Hartlepool United squad in the coming weeks.

But, for now, the Pools boss is happy adding potential to the ranks at Victoria Park.

I settled quickly and got to play some games.

Hignett has followed up the signing of Durham University keeper Ben Dudzinski by capturing two teenage defenders following successful trial periods.

Centre-half Ben Pollock was snapped up after his release by Newcastle United while full-back James Martin has been brought in following a spell at Queen of the South.

If the name Pollock sounds familiar, it should. Ben is the son of ex-Middlesbrough, Man City, Bolton and Crystal Palace midfielder Jamie.

Unlike his old man, Ben is a central defender, the 18-year-old standing 6ft tall and is good at doing the basics as well as being able to play the ball.

Pollock had performed well with the Magpies, captaining the youth team and making five appearances for the U21 side.

It was not enough to keep him at St James’s Park, but Hignett sees Newcastle’s loss being Pools’ gain with good raw material he and first-team coach Curtis Fleming can work with.

“He’s eager to learn all the time and that’s something I want from everyone in the squad so those are the types of characters we will be trying to bring in to the club,” said Hignett.

Following his exit on Tyneside, the Bolton-born player spent time with Pools during the final weeks of the season, catching the eye for the reserve and youth teams.

“It all happened quite quickly,” Pollock told SportMail. “I think I was released by Newcastle on the Tuesday and got a call on the Thursday asking if I would come to Hartlepool and train here.

“Obviously, you feel a bit nervous to start with when you go somewhere new but the players and staff made me feel very welcome.

“I settled quickly and got to play some games for the reserves and youth teams and I got to train around the first team.

“The gaffer’s obviously been happy with what I’ve done and I was thrilled to sign.”

He joins Josh Nearney as providing cover at the back for Pools, who released Harry Worley in the summer and also lost on-loan star Adam Jackson back to Middlesbrough.

Pollock has been joined at the Vic by another teenager.

Like Pollock, Martin, 17, has trained and played at the back end of the campaign, including an appearance in the final Youth Team fixture at Bradford City.

“James is another who has caught our eye and has great potential,” said Hignett in an interview with the Pools website.

“He’s a talented full-back who is aggressive out of possession and positive when on the ball so we saw plenty there to work with and we’re delighted to get him on board.”