Non-League Newcastle rejected tracked by Championship clubs

St James Park

JJ Hooper could be moving back into professional football having impressed in the Conference South.

20-year-old Hooper started his career at Newcastle, signing his first professional deal with the club in 2011.

However he failed to make an appearance for the Toon, spending two unsuccessful loan spells away from the club with Darlington and Workington.

The forward officially left St James’ Park in February 2013, signing for Northampton Town in July of that year, but going on to make just three appearances for the club without finding the back of the net.

He now plays for Havant and Waterlooville in the Conference South, and has netted 11 goals in 14 games this season, all from open play, to lead the division goalscoring table. He is finding the back of the net every 80 minutes of play, and Sky Sports is reporting that a number of Championship sides are tracking the youngster’s progress - having been alerted to his goalscoring talents.

Having spent a spell on loan with fellow Conference South side Farnborough last season, where he netted seven goals in 11 games to help the club retain their league status, Hooper has scored 18 goals in 25 games this calendar year, and it looks as if a move back into the upper reaches of English football could be on the cards.

If Hooper does complete a move to the Championship, he could be looking to follow in the footsteps of Leicester City star Jamie Vardy, who holds the record as being the most expensive Non-League player in history. Since moving to the King Power Stadium, Vardy has become a key player, starring in the Premier League, and being touted as potentially receiving an England international call-up.

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