Former Eastbury School pupil Baldwin ready for League One challenge with Peterborough United

Former Eastbury School pupil Jack Baldwin completed a January deadline day transfer to Peterborough

Former Eastbury School pupil Jack Baldwin completed a January deadline day transfer to Peterborough United from Harletpool United. Pic: Peterborough United FC - Credit: Archant

It has been a whirlwind three years for former Eastbury School pupil Jack Baldwin, and the 20-year-old is excited to be playing League One football after completing a £500,000 move to Peterborough United last week from League Two side Hartlepool United.

Barking-born central defender Baldwin was picked up by then League One side Hartlepool United from non-league Faversham Town, after a successful trial at the Victoria Ground back in the summer of 2011.

Since then, he has earned rave reviews in the north east, and he completed a transfer deadline-day move back down south when joining the Posh.

And although sad to be leaving the club which gave him his chance to fulfil his professional dream, Baldwin admits it was a move he could not turn down.

“The deal took a little bit of time to be reached, but when I found out about it all on the final day, I had to make it down to Peterborough quickly and try to wrap something up,” said Baldwin.

“I’m thankful for everyone at Hartlepool for the chance they have given me, but the opportunity at Peterborough to push on and possibly play Championship football next season is a challenge I wanted to take up.”

It has certainly all come about quickly for the youngster, and it is something he has to pinch himself about.

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“It is crazy how it has all come about,” added Baldwin. “Stepping up to the football league from non-league wasn’t a shock, but it just took a bit of time to get used to it, which was two and a half seasons ago now.

“Peterborough are a club with a lot of young players who have gone on to bigger things and that was a big factor in my move.”

Hartlepool and Baldwin were due to face his local club Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend, but the youngster picked up his 10th booking of the season against AFC Wimbledon on January 28, which would have ruled him out of the clash anyway.

“I had a few friends and family that were due to come along and watch, but after picking up the 10th booking I had to tell them I’d miss out, which was disappointing.

“But at Peterborough it is a lot closer to home now so hopefully they’ll be able to come along to a few more.”

Wayne Baldacchino, his former teacher at Eastbury School, is also delighted to see his former pupil continue to make his way in the game and believes he has the ability to go all the way to the top.

“Having said many things about Jack when he first signed for Hartlepool United a few years ago now it is fantastic for him to be seen as a highly rated player, now moving upwards in his career,” said Baldacchino.

“Value should not mean much although half a million pounds sounds amazing! Jack has always been a very down to earth level headed student both on and off the pitch. He has a very calm head on young shoulders and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

“I have kept in touch with him on a regular basis and we communicate two-three times a week. We are always asking him and supporting him in every way possible and we have continued our Jack Baldwin notice board here at Eastbury School which I am in the process of giving a complete overhaul with Peterborough United FC items!

“Jack has been given the number five shirt which is brilliant as quite often new or young signings tend to get the higher squad numbers allocated to them. We all want him to do well and still believe he has what it takes to reach the very top of his game.

“He inspires the students at Eastbury School to achieve and we very much look forward to seeing him when he visits us as usual once the season is over.”