Pools starlet Luke James already has sights set on next season

Luke James is held back as he tries to break forward. Picture by FRANK REID
Luke James is held back as he tries to break forward. Picture by FRANK REID

LUKE James is still pinching himself following his League One emergence – but the starlet already has his sights set on next season with Hartlepool United.

The 17-year-old only made his senior debut in December but, such was his impact, the bulk of fans’ hopes now rest on his young shoulders.

Indeed, James recently missed seven matches with growing pains in his back, during which time Pools drew four successive blanks in front of goal.

However, the Academy graduate is happy to carry the weight of that supporter expectation and admits he cannot wait for his first full campaign as a professional.

“It’s been like a whirlwind,” James told SportMail, reflecting on the past four months, during which a throng of Premier League scouts have descended on Victoria Park to monitor his progress.

“At the start of the season I was basically trying to get a start in the youth team squad.

“Now my target is to start in the first-team.

“So it’s been a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world – it’s been great.

“But I’m still getting to know the senior pros and I can’t wait for pre-season.

“Hopefully, we’ll go away to Holland and that will give me a bit more time to bond with them.

“I didn’t expect to play once this season, so going into next year in the set-up is great.

“We need to push on, though and I want to be part of making that happen.”