TALENTED forward Luke Williams says the Hartlepool United players were sad to see Jack Baldwin leave the club but insisted it is an “exciting opportunity” for him.
Baldwin, 20, left Pools in a dramatic deadline day transfer to Sky Bet League One side Peterborough United last week, after three seasons at Pools.
Former team-mate Williams, currently on a month’s loan from neighbours Middlesbrough, said all players want to test themselves in a higher division and while his transfer was a blow, he said the players wish him well.
Defender Baldwin, who can also play in midfield, signed a four-and-a-half year deal at the London Road club, in a deal that could net Pools up to £750,000.
New terrace favourite Williams said: “We were all sad to see Jack go because he is a good player but it is a step in his career that he wanted to take.
“It is a big one but an exciting and good one for him.
“Everybody wants to play in better leagues, in better teams and you can’t hold yourself back for the sake of other people.”
Signed from Faversham Town in 2011 by then Pools boss Mick Wadsworth, Baldwin had long since attracted scouts and played a total of 85 times for the Victoria Park outfit, scoring six goals.
The transfer is for an initial £500,000, with the potential for add-ons, the biggest transfer fee involving Pools since Adam Boyd left for Luton Town.
Williams, meanwhile, has also been impressed with another Jack, fellow loan recruit, Jack Barmby, 19, who is also on a month-long deal at Pools.
The Manchester United forward, who is the son of former England international Nick, has impressed in his three appearances for Pools so far, including coming off the bench in his Football League debut to score a magnificent strike in the 2-0 win over York City at Victoria Park.
Barmby Jnr also came on away to Wimbledon before getting his first start in the goalless draw against Scunthorpe last weekend.
“Jack has come in and done a good job,” added Williams.
“He is a good player with the ball at his feet, has excited the fans and hopefully can grab a few more goals like he did when he came on in his first game.”