Pools snap up ex-Newcastle whizkid Ryan Donaldson in major deal

Ryan Donaldson
Ryan Donaldson

Craig Harrison has struck again in the transfer market by signing former Newcastle United youngster Ryan Donaldson.

That makes it five new signings from the Hartlepool United boss after snapping up the midfielder following his release by Plymouth Argyle at the end of their promotion-winning season.

Donaldson made 33 appearances for the Pilgrims, scoring twice, only to fall out of favour for the final two months of the campaign.

The Geordie, who is still only 26, played for Pools as a teenager back in 2011 in League One, making 12 appearances on loan from Newcastle.

He never made it at his boyhood club, only making a couple of first-team appearances, but revived his career across the Tyne at Gateshead in the National League.

It earned him a move to their rivals Cambridge United and he helped the U's clinch promotion, ironically against his former club in the play-off final at Wembley, where his goal sealed victory.

That victory was his second dose of Wembley glory, having earlier scored two of the goals when they won the FA Trophy 4-0 against Gosport Borough.

Donaldson spent a further two seasons in the Football League with Cambridge before joining League Two rivals Plymouth last summer.

His capture continues in the same pattern of the other Harrison acquisitions.

All five of the Harrison quintet have experience in the National League. Keeper Scott Loach spent a loan stint at York last season, midfielder Luke George skippered both Southport and Chester in the division, attacker Jack Munns won the NL Title with Cheltenham and forward Jake Cassidy scored eight goals for Guiseley.