Hartlepool United have agreed a deal to take young defender James Butler on loan from Championship outfit Stoke City.

The 18-year-old centre-back has joined Pools on a deal which will see him remain at The Super 6 Stadium until the middle of January. Butler impressed boss Matthew Bates when he played against Pools in the FA Cup last month, whilst on loan at Fourth Round Qualifying Round opponents Kidsgrove Athletic.

“I liked the look of James from the moment I saw him play in their FA Cup replay against Workington,” revealed Bates. “He has done extremely well for Kidsgrove, stood out against Workington and I also thought he had a very good game when they played up here against us.

“He’s obviously still very young but I was really impressed with the way he acquitted himself and with the reports I have had about him so this deal allows us to have a closer look at him with a view to something more long-term. The work is continuing behind the scenes and we’re chasing up a number of targets in various positions so I can assure fans we’re doing everything we can to strengthen the squad.”

Butler has been handed squad number 4 but will not come in to contention for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Gillingham due to being cup-tied after his involvement with Kidsgrove.

Source: www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk

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