Craig Hignett discusses options for the Hartlepool United captaincy

Hartlepool United are yet to confirm their club captain for the upcoming 2019-20 season in the National League with several potential candidates vying for the armband.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Thursday, 11th July 2019, 11:45 am
Summer arrival Michael Raynes has captained Hartlepool so far this pre-season (photo: Frank Reid).

Ryan Donaldson ended the 2018-19 campaign as captain following the departure of Andrew Davies and injury to Carl Magnay.

With Magnay’s exit confirmed earlier this week, Donaldson is likely to retain the captaincy for the 2019-20 campaign despite several other strong candidates for the role, including summer arrival Michael Raynes.

“We haven’t really talked about (the captaincy),” admitted manager Craig Hignett.

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“Ryan Donaldson is the skipper, and as far as I’m concerned we keep going with that. Ryan has obviously missed a bit of pre-season but Raynesy is a leader anyway – whether I give him the armband or not, he’s going to lead.

“It’s nice to be able to have players like that. I can give someone the extra responsibility of making them captain at the same time as having a ‘captain’ on the pitch so it’s a win win for me.”

A calf strain has kept Donaldson out of Hartlepool’s first three pre-season friendlies with centre-back Raynes donning the armband. The 31-year-old has been a strong, vocal presence at the back for Pools so far.

“That’s why we’ve brought Michael Raynes here,” Hignett said.

“We’ve got some really good young players who need some looking after. Physically they don’t but positionally, not to ball watch and Raynesy is always on them and that’s why we’ve brought him, he’s a skipper and he’s a leader and you don’t get many of them.

“He’s been fantastic for us over the pre-season. He’s done every day, worked really hard and been a great role model for the young lads to see how a proper pro should do things.”

Hignett then threw in a bit of a wild-card in the form of veteran trialist Jason Kennedy.

“Kennedy is another one, he does all his work, does it spot on, gets on with it and puts in performance after performance,” added the 49-year-old.

“Those are the types of people we’re trying to bring to the club.”