Port Vale assistant manager Paul Bodin says that striker JJ Hooper is reaping the benefits of full-time training and is in contention for a first-team place.
Bodin commented: “I think he has grown and matured. When he first came in he perhaps wasn’t used to the full-time training but he is growing and you see him in training now and he looks so much sharper,
He is a natural goalscorer but when you haven’t got the physical capabilities, and you are perhaps not as fit as the rest of the boys, you can’t you can’t quite get in those positions…
“His finishing has always been one of the stand out things with him. He is a natural goalscorer but when you haven’t got the physical capabilities, and you are perhaps not as fit as the rest of the boys, you can’t you can’t quite get in those positions.
“When you do one-on-one basic technical finishing he is up there. But to see that in a game you have to have some physical attributes and your movement has to be better. We are just seeing that now over the last couple of weeks and we are really pleased.
“AJ had taken the mantle at the moment and quite rightly so. He was very patient in waiting in the wings and JJ has also been very patient, although perhaps his expectations weren’t as high as AJ’s because of where he has come from.
“But equally, JJ is a very good finisher. Hopefully he will get his chance this year but certainly for the future JJ is one that is going to be up there.”