Hartlepool Utd reward youth players with trip to Spanish training camp


COLIN Cooper has taken a group of youth team players on Hartlepool United’s Spanish training camp as a reward for their efforts over the summer.

Midfielder Kieran Green, 17, winger Connor Smith, also 17, and young goalkeeper Jon Barber are taking part in the training sessions with the first team squad at La Cala Resort.

Sam Collins, who is in charge of the reserve team this season, said their places on the plane were just rewards for the effort they had put in over the summer months.

Collins told SportMail: “We have Kieran Green, who will be a second year this season, and played a few times for me in the reserve team last year.

“He has a really good attitude, is really keen and has looked after himself really well through the summer.

“This is a bit of a pat on the back really for what he has done through the summer months and we decided to bring him along with us to Spain.

“We also have young Connor Smith, a winger. Same thing as Kieran really in that he played in the reserves a few times last year and has a great attitude and wants to learn.

“If both of them continue to work hard, want to learn and get better then they will be fine.

“We also have goalkeeper Jon Barber with us, who played a couple of reserve games last year.”

Barber is a promising goalie and his dad is former Darlington and Walsall stopper, Fred Barber.

Green, who is comfortable on the ball, arrived at Pools from Stockton Town at Under 14 level and has impressed coaching staff with his determined style of play in the centre of midfield.

Smith, meanwhile, is among the latest generation coming through the ranks and made his League debut as a substitute in the final day of last season, a 2-0 home defeat to Exeter City.

Coach Collins will be helping to oversee their continued development this year.

The 37-year-old central defender was out of contract at Pools this summer but signed a new deal, which will see him combine playing with the role of assistant first and reserve team coach at the Sky Bet League Two club.

He is in overall charge of the second string at Victoria Park.