Boss hopes for Baldwin boost

Cooper: Excited about Baldwin's future

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Neale Cooper is hoping versatile teenager Jack Baldwin can win a regular place in Hartlepool's starting line-up next season.

Baldwin has made 12 starts since making his first-team breakthrough in the home game with Colchester in December, and Cooper sees similarities between himself and the 18-year-old when he was starting out his playing career under Sir Alex Ferguson at Aberdeen.

"I had the same sort of scenario when I was Jack's age," Cooper told the club's official website.

"I came in to the side out of the blue once really when Alex McLeish was injured. I got rave reviews and then as soon as McLeish was fit he was back in the line-up.

"Then I was in the side when Willie Miller was suspended for a trip to Parkhead and we beat Celtic 2-0, but the next game I was out again."

Cooper added: "With young players it's normal for you to be in and out of the side because your form can dip from time to time - that's just natural, but I think the world of Jack and I'm hoping he can be a regular next season whether at centre-back or in midfield."