United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Ritchie Jones signs for Hartlepool

Posted by nickogs20 on July 4, 2008

Hearts, Barnsley, Tranmere Rovers, Swindon, Port Vale… all have appeared on the verge of securing Ritchie Jones’ signature over the last week or so following his release by United, but seemingly from nowhere it’s Hartlepool United who have snuck in under the radar and snapped up the 22 year-old.

Jones has been in advanced talks with Swindon and even underwent medicals at Hearts and Port Vale over the last couple of days but the midfielder has opted to sign for the North-East club, who finished last season 15th in League One. That decision, or rather the failure of the player and his agent to keep the other interested parties fully appraised of the situation, has irked Swindon boss Maurice Malpas and his Port Vale counterpart Lee Sinnott, the latter telling his club’s official website:

“On Thursday morning when we got in touch with him we were informed he would be coming to sign the forms yesterday afternoon at 4.00pm.

“Things changed again and we were expecting him to come to the club this afternoon at 4.00pm, but then at 3.15 we found out he wouldn’t be coming and he had signed for Hartlepool.

“These things happen in football, but perhaps when he looks back on things he will realise he could have kept us in the loop.

“We have been trying to contact him all day yesterday and again today. Perhaps people will be able to draw their own conclusions on that.

All that will be of little consequence to Hartlepool manager Danny Wilson, who has described the signing as ‘a feather in our cap’ on the Monkey Hangers’ official site:

“Potentially we have an excellent player on our books – he has a fantastic pedigree in terms of upbringing. Where better to start out from the age of 9 than Manchester United?

“He has some very good habits so that’s one thing we won’t have to work on.

“We’ve brought another potentially very good player in and there now becomes some intense competition in that area and that is what we want.

“Ritchie has high fitness levels, he can get goals and he is creative but as I have said before, he also has a big test in front of him to get into the team and stay there.”

Good luck to Ritchie at Victoria Park.

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