VERSATILE Jack Barmby admits the style of play at Hartlepool United is helping his own game to flourish – with three goals in his first eight appearances.
The on-loan Manchester United player is comfortable either playing on the wing, behind the front two or up top and in his short stint at Victoria Park he has already bagged three sensational strikes.
Highly-rated Barmby, who says he prefers playing in a central position, marked his Pools and Football League debut with a stunning strike against York City.
He followed that up with equally impressive finishes against Torquay United and Wycombe Wanderers last weekend.
Barmby’s technique, clever footwork and instinctive nature when it comes to scoring has stood him in good stead in Sky Bet League Two so far, especially since he moved to a more central position behind the front two.
Scoring goals is in his genes, after all his dad is former England international Nick Barmby, who has been a regular visitor to watch his son in action.
The 19-year-old said: “When I was younger, because of my pace and skill, I got put out on the wing and I did really like it there,” said Barmby.
“But I like playing up front as well because I feel like I get more involved.
“I prefer it up front because you are always in the action.”
The young forward, who also has one assist to his name, is enjoying learning his trade at the Clarence Road club alongside the other younger players including Luke James, 19, Brad Walker, 17 and full-backs Darren Holden, 20, and 20-year-old Jordan Richards.
Barmby added: “As soon as I came in I realised it was a young team, which suits me the way they play.
“All of the players have made me feel really welcome and it is going really well.
“As a team we like to play football, the same way I like to play.
“Hartlepool United is a very good club and I’m happy here.”
Since joining on loan in January, Barmby spent a lot of time on the training ground working closely with former assistant manager Craig Hignett, who last week left for Middlesbrough.
Barmby insists it is business as usual at Pools though, but he has wished his former coach well.
“I worked a lot with Higgy on the training ground,” added Barmby.
“He was brilliant with the lads but good luck to him at Middlesbrough.
“Obviously he is a club legend at Boro and we wish him well but we will carry on.
“The gaffer has already said that nothing has changed and as long as we keep doing what we have been doing then we will be fine,” added the England Under-18 and Under-19 international.
- RICHARD MENNEAR