Cooper backs Hartlepool United’s Walker for big future

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BOSS Colin Cooper believes Hartlepool United midfielder Brad Walker will have no problems adapting to international football after the 17-year-old was called up to next week’s two-day England Under-18 training camp at St George’s Park in Burton.

Cooper said: “It’s a massive shot in the arm for what we’re trying to do as a club.

“To get recognition of this nature is nothing more than he deserves. He now has the opportunity to go and show that although he’s playing in League Two now, his potential is go much higher.

“He has the technical, tactical, physical and mental capabilities, so I don’t think he’ll have any issues adapting to playing international football so we wish him well.”

Meanwhile, Pools veteran Sam Collins has warned his fellow League Two defenders that nine-goal teenage sensation Luke James is by no means the finished article.

The 36-year-old said: “Young players always have little spells where they go off the boil and then come again and this is what he is doing. Luke has improved massively.

“He was very raw, and he still is, to a certain degree, but he is getting better all the time.

“Luke still has a lot of work to do, don’t get me wrong, but there is certainly a player there. When you play against him in training he never gives you a minute’s peace. All the lads love him and he works so hard for the team and is obviously scoring goals as well. He reminds me of Paul Dickov, just an absolute nuisance.