Ross Turnbull has paid tribute to the work ethic of young goalkeeper Brad Young after the teenage Pools prospect was selected for an England Men’s Goalkeeping Camp.
The 17-year-old is set to travel to St George’s Park this Sunday afternoon to meet with coaches and fellow players before enjoying three days of training at the National Football Centre.
Development Camps such as this have been run by The Football Association for over a decade and give up and coming keepers the chance to showcase their skills with a view to being called-up to their respective age group National Squads.
Young, who is currently starring on a season-long loan at Billingham Town, will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford in attending an England Camp.
“I am really pleased for the boy,” said Turnbull, Pools’ Goalkeeping Coach.
“He’s worked exceptionally hard and he deserves everything he is getting at the moment so hopefully it can continue for him.
“I am proud for his parents too because they have obviously put a lot of effort in to bringing up such a great kid and I know they go everywhere with him to support him. That’s massive, I know that from first-hand experience with my mam and dad.
“It’s a proud moment for everyone involved – for Brad, his parents, the Club, the youth development side of things, it’s just great news.”
Turnbull has been impressed with Young’s attitude on and off the pitch during his time working closely with him and is tipping him to be a success if he continues to work hard and keep his feet on the ground.
“At the moment, it’s all potential with Brad.
“Whenever anyone asks me about him I always say that if his work ethic and willingness to learn continues as it is then he will give himself the best opportunity to go and have a career as a professional footballer.
“That’s got to be his goal. He’s on the right path at the moment but it’s still early days and this is just some good recognition for the work he’s been doing.
“I have spoken to him and told him this is a reward for the effort he puts in every day because I have worked with him for more than 16 months now and he’s been great.
“This is an added incentive for him now. He’s got in a training camp so he can go there and do himself justice and push himself towards getting in a squad, playing friendlies and competitive international games.
“It’s one step at a time, of course, but I will be there pushing him every step of the way. I’m not happy with a training camp – can he go and get in a squad? I won’t be settling for anything less.”
Young’s recognition from England is also another feather in the cap for Pools, who held off competition from the EFL to retain the services of the highly-rated teenager.
“He had a chance to go elsewhere during the summer, to an EFL club – but credit to him for wanting to stay and progress with us,” said Turnbull.
“We sold him the development plan we devised for him to move forward and on the back of that he was keen to stay here so the England call-up is another vindication of that decision.
“The majority of the time Brad will train with the First Team here which is good experience – at bigger clubs, goalkeepers may not be doing that until they’re 19 or 20, Brad is doing it now and he did it a little bit last year at 16.
“The pathway is probably shorter and clearer at a club likes ours but he will still need that work ethic and obviously the ability to show that when he is ready he going to be able to play in our First Team.
“Every day he puts in the work he needs and he’s done exceptionally well so far but he has a long way down the development path to go.
“The ideal situation is for him go on and become a professional goalkeeper playing at Hartlepool United and we’re going to give him all the tools to go and achieve that.”
Young has been a regular for Billingham this term where he has helped the club more than hold their own in Northern League Division One after winning promotion as champions last term.
He has also starred for Pools Youth Team during their recent run in the FA Youth Cup, producing an incredible performance and saving a penalty as they won against the odds at Accrington Stanley in Round One.
However, Turnbull is certain that it’s Young’s exposure to senior football at Bedford Terrace which will provide him with the most benefit and he’s thrilled that the loan is going so well.
“The loan move has been massive for his development.
“I was big on wanting him to do that this season. He played a couple of games at Newton Aycliffe last year and got a feel for it but I just think that playing men’s football with 400 or 500 fans there and that little bit of extra pressure will help him progress.
“He’s taken to it well and I think Billingham are pleased with him. They have to take huge credit for the work they do with him and how they support him because it’s easy to forget that he is still only 17-years-old.
“He will make mistakes, and making mistakes gives you experience even though you don’t want to make them. Good and bad experiences are all part of a young player’s development.
“Brad has to embrace those experiences because if he can keep progressing in the way he has done then he can definitely be a successful professional footballer, hopefully for this Club.”