Hartlepool United’s Walker urged to make most of England call-up

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BRADLEY Walker has been urged to make the most of his time training with England Under 18s by one of his Hartlepool United team mates who has been there and done it, writes Richard Mennear.

The 17-year-old powerhouse midfielder will once again attend an Under 18s training camp in early January and Jonathan Franks is encouraging his colleague to make memories for life.

Franks represented England at all levels from under-16 through to under-19 including a trip to South Korea for the Under 17s World Cup, while he was a player at Middlesbrough.

Walker received his first call to join England’s junior set-up in November when he spent two days training at the FA’s National Football Centre at St George’s Park, in Burton.

He impressed coach Neil Dewsnip so much that he will return on Sunday, January 5, for another couple of days training with the cream of English teenage talent before returning to training with the Sky Bet League Two side.

Walker impressed Pools’ management duo of Cooper and Craig Hignett during the club’s pre-season trip to Holland and made his senior debut when he was selected to start in the opening League Two game at Rochdale.

The Billingham-born midfielder started the season in midfield but lost his place through injury.

Stockton-born Franks came on as a second-half substitute alongside Walker in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burton Albion at Victoria Park, which resulted in the teenager grabbing the equaliser with a fine first-time strike from the edge of the box.

Both players are expected to feature in today’s Sky Bet League Two match away to Chesterfield.