MICKY Barron’s caretaker reign at Hartlepool United will be best remembered for the introduction of new boy wonder Luke James – and the starlet can’t thank him enough.
James – the 17-year-old who netted his first senior goal in stunning fashion during Saturday’s 2-0 win over Rochdale – was only handed his debut just before Christmas as Barron sought to shake up an under-performing Pools.
Since then, the Amble-born forward has been a sensation and Pools supporters are revelling in the arrival of their new terrace darling.
But it was Barron who initially placed his trust in James, having seen the talent which resided in his slender frame for both the youth and reserve teams.
And, for that, James, right, admits he will be eternally grateful.
“Micky Barron has been class with me,” he said. “Ever since I was in the youth team at 16 he’s always helped me and I’ve taken all of his advice on board.
“He’s a really good manager and a really good guy as well. I thought I was ready when I got put in, but I didn’t think I’d get this chance this early.
“When I was getting in the team I just thought I’d come on as sub.
“But the last two times I’ve started and I just gave it my all and Saturday was just ‘wow’.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind the past few weeks.
“As soon as I signed my professional contract everything just stepped up and up. So I’d just like to thank Micky and all the managers and staff who have helped me and given me my chance.”
James might have feared being eased back into the shadows upon the arrival of new boss Neale Cooper.
But Barron made a point of talking up the abilities of the teen talent and James hopes he will again find himself on the pitch from the off for this weekend’s trip to Exeter City.
“Hopefully this will continue, but that’s down to me now,” he went on.