RONNIE Moore has hailed double award winner Scott Harrison’s contribution to the Hartlepool United cause and backed him to play in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old was crowned Supporters’ and Players’ Player of the Year for 2014-15 ahead of the Exeter City match before producing a man of the match display as Pools secured their league status.
No-nonsense Harrison joined the club on a permanent 18-month contract from Premier League neighbours Sunderland in January.
He didn’t play a first team game for the Black Cats, but Moore believes the centre back will one day grace the top tier of English football after an impressive season at Pools.
The form of Harrison has been a key reason behind the recent revival which saw Pools climb out of trouble with a game to spare – and Moore believes he could offer a lot to the team up front too.
Not many would have swapped the security of the Premier League for a relegation dogfight in the bottom tier, but Harrison did.
Moore believes he deserves a great deal of credit for his contribution.
Moore said: “Scott Harrison won the Player of the Year award I keep saying he can be whatever he wants to be.
“He is quick for a centre-back, although he may not look it, but he does cover a lot of ground quickly.
“I have no doubt that he will grace the Premier League one day and it could be at the back or up front – and I keep saying that too.
“I did both roles as a player, more than 700 games in total and 300 of which were in defence and the rest up top.
“Scott knows the game and is the best finisher in the club, at times, when we do shooting practice.
“In training he goes up top and we have to shout at him to get back, but he keeps reminding me that I said he’s a good striker!
“He’s got confidence and is a bit cocky, but you need that.
“And we have one or two others developing too, so add one or two more in the summer and who knows?!”
Stockton-born Harrison, previously tipped as a future captain of the club, enjoyed three loan spells at Pools over the past two seasons before signing his permanent deal on Deadline Day at the end of January.
The double award winner hasn’t missed a match since – even scoring in the 2-1 win over Cambridge United – and his form has impressed his manager, players and supporters alike.
Harrison, nominated for the Sky Bet League Two award in March, had already been named as the Football League’s Young Player of the Month for March.
While Harrison walked away with the two main awards, there was also another popular winner with Michael Woods crowned Away Player of the Year by the Supporters’ Association.
Tommy Miller couldn’t have wished for a better game to make his 600th career appearance – the day Hartlepool United secured their Football League status.
And manager Ronnie Moore has heaped praise on the veteran Pools midfielder, describing it as a ‘great achievement’ after his service to the club over two separate spells.
Miller made his long-awaited comeback from calf injury – which had kept him out for six months – in the 2-1 win over Exeter City at Victoria Park.
The 36-year-old came on as a substitute to help shore up the Pools midfield and ensure they achieved the Great Escape in front of their own fans.
Moore admitted he wasn’t even aware of the importance of the appearance to Miller, but he wanted to reward him following his hard work after coming back from injury.
Miller, a former Sunderland, Ipswich, Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town midfielder, has been working his way back to fitness after injuring his calf way back in October.
“It is a great achievement for Tommy and brilliant for him,” Moore said.
“I didn’t actually know that he was one appearance off his 600th!
“I put him on the bench because he has worked really hard in training after being injured and it was nice to get him out on the pitch against Exeter.
“It’s great to reach such a landmark and I am really pleased for him because he’s given the club a lot of good years service.”
Miller, a product of the youth system at Pools, made his first team debut at Chester back in October 1997.