HARTLEPOOL United’s impressive debutants Luke Williams and Jack Barmby “ooze class” according to their beaming manager Colin Cooper – who admits he would love to have them longer than just a month.
The 46-year-old gaffer was delighted with the contribution of both Williams, on loan from Middlesbrough, and Barmby, the son of former England international Nick, who is on loan from Manchester United for a month.
Williams, 20, wearing the Number 18 shirt played all 90-minutes behind the front two of Marlon Harewood and Luke James in a new-look diamond formation, while highly-rated Barmby, 19, came on as a second-half sub and stole the show with a sublime 18-yard strike to seal the 2-0 win over York City.
Cooper said Pools are “lucky” to have the pair – both capped at England youth level – and was chuffed with their first outing in a blue and white shirt.
“I thought Luke oozed class from start to finish,” said Cooper.
“But I know he oozes class and that is why I am overjoyed to have him here if I’m being honest.
“What people don’t realise is he is actually a tough and strong young man and can handle the ball. He is looking to play football whenever he can but also has the capabilities of dropping his shoulder.
“With Jack, he wants to come and impress people and show why he plays for Manchester United.
“He wants to play some league football now and I had a long chat with him on Friday after training and just said you may have to be a little patient with me because we were trying something slightly different in the midfield area and we didn’t have an avenue for an out-and-out wide man.
“But I said to him ‘you will get on the pitch’ and I said ‘I’d love to put you on when we are not chasing but you can go and express yourself and enjoy yourself’ and considering it was his actual first taste of league football he came on and wanted the ball desperately and was productive.
“You can see he will have a very productive future and we are very lucky.”
The Pools gaffer said there was a long list of scouts watching the action against York City and said he would love to have the pair beyond their initial one-month loan deals but admits it is out of his hands.
Cooper added: “Our scouts list was long on Saturday and I have no doubt that those scouts will be going home saying ‘when Jack’s loan deal runs out at Hartlepool jump on him,’ because he oozes class.
“While we are lucky at the moment, I think we will just have to play it by ear.
“The longer we can keep them both here does add a freshness but I’m also asking people to raise their standards and when you see them two players, that is a high standard of football.
“I just hope we keep them longer than that month but that won’t be up to me.”
Barmby Senior, who played a “big part” in him signing for Pools, was at The Vic along with the rest of the family, who had travelled to see Jack’s Football League debut.
Cooper added: “Jack is representing Manchester United but it was his first taste of league football and we all remember them days when your family were desperate to see you play, with the shirt on, in front of a crowd and it was a fairly impressive introduction to league football.
“Jack is a happy boy and that makes me a happy man.”