Hawks due Hooper compensation

JJ Hooper in action for the Hawks against Weston-super-Mare last season Picture: Paul Jacobs
JJ Hooper in action for the Hawks against Weston-super-Mare last season Picture: Paul Jacobs
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The Hawks look set to receive an £8,000 windfall from Football League side Port Vale for striker JJ Hooper.

A Football Association tribunal ruled that the League One club should compensate the Hawks after the youngster joined the Valiants in the summer.

Hooper made his Port Vale debut against Carlisle United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy back in September, coming off the bench.

He was also a substitute in the 2-0 League One defeat at the hands of Burton Albion on October 24, making an appearance in the 78th minute.

Although the front man was no longer a contracted player with the Hawks, he is under the age of 23.

That means compensation is due because of the Westleigh Park side’s role in the player’s development.

Hooper scored 20 goals for the Hawks last season but rejected a new deal to keep him on the south coast.

The Newcastle United Academy product is the latest in a line of players to progress into the Football League from Westleigh Park – including current Pompey midfielder Nigel Atangana.

Hawks manager Lee Bradbury admitted he is proud of that record.

‘We can take great pride in our development of players and helping them move up in the game,’ said Bradbury.

‘Players with ambitions to get back into the league know if they come to us we will help improve their game.

‘It has been seen with Jamie Vardy at Leicester City that it is possible to go from non-league football to the Premiership and even international honours.

‘Our record shows that coming to the Hawks doesn’t do their career any harm.

‘On the contrary, it can give it a boost.

‘They can learn from the more experienced players, like Brian Stock and James Hayter, who have been there and done it all.

‘We like to think that we do things right and provide excellent coaching.

‘I am happy to take on hungry, ambitious, young players because they can also be good for the club.

‘It is a question of getting the balance right.

‘JJ has all the attributes to make it in the Football League.

‘He has a good attitude and we worked with him on changing his image.

‘It isn’t always just about the football, but how you present yourself off the pitch, too.’

Meanwhile, Bradbury takes a much-changed squad to United Services Portsmouth’s Burnaby Road tonight (7.45pm) as they look to defend their Portsmouth Senior Cup title

He intends to play a mix of Academy players and seniors who have not been regulars for the first team in recent weeks.

One player definitely ruled out is central defender Dan Strugnell, who limped off injured in the first half against St Albans City.

He could be adding to Bradbury’s injury problems in defence as he could be out for a couple of weeks.