Hartlepool United winger Josh MacDonald joins Whitby Town on loan – manager Dave Challinor backs him to shine

Hartlepool United winger Josh MacDonald had joined Northern Premier League side Whitby Town on a season long loan.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:59 pm

The 26-year-old had been transfer listed by Pools after failing to make a single National League appearance during his debut season at Victoria Park.

MacDonald remains contracted at Pools until next summer but isn't in Dave Challinor’s first team plans so has joined Whitby in order to get some game time under his belt.

“It's something that has been on the cards for some time in terms of Josh going out and playing some minutes,” Challinor told The Mail.

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Josh MacDonald. Action from Gateshead FC 4-1 HUFC pre-season friendly. 24-07-2021. Picture by Bernadette Malcolmson

“Everything stopped last year so players within our squad didn't really have a choice to go out on loan anywhere because there was no football for them to play below our level.

"It's something that has been in the offing for a bit of time and what it does is give him the opportunity to go out and play some football.”

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MacDonald arrived at Pools last summer having started just four league matches over the previous two seasons at Halifax Town. And despite seeing little of him on the pitch, Challinor has backed the Stockton-born midfielder to shine at Whitby.

“He came in with us on the back of 18 months being out with an injury,” added the Pools boss. “He didn't have the impact he would have hoped last year, we then changed our shape which changed his potential involvement in the squad.

"He needs to go out and play games not just for our benefit but for his benefit because he doesn't want to be in a situation where he's had almost a fourth year without playing any football really.

"He'll get the opportunity and if we're being honest it's a level that is below him. But for him at the moment it's about playing games and he should shine at that level comfortably.”

Pools will monitor MacDonald’s progress with The Seasiders and can exercise a recall option if needed.

“It's season long in terms of the deal but we'll look at it as things go on,” Challinor said.

“We hope he does really well and gives us decisions to make but first and foremost it's about him playing games and seeing what he can do. We will monitor his progress and where we're at.”

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