Ex-Newcastle youngster reveals why it's an honour to play for 'special' Hartlepool United

Ryan Donaldson in action for Hartlepool United against Barrow.
Ryan Donaldson in action for Hartlepool United against Barrow.

Ryan Donaldson admits he feels honoured to play for 'special' Hartlepool United.

The winger turned wing-back is in the form of his Pools career at present and was the star man in last night's frustrating home stalemate with Barrow.

Despite disappointment with the result, Donaldson feels blessed to be pulling on the famous blue and white again after a torrid first season back at Pools last year.

And he hopes to continue to build on some promising performances in his new found position.

Read More: Matthew Bates reacts to Barrow stalemate
"Last season was really tough," said Donaldson about last season's campaign which was blighted by injuries and setbacks.

"I was out for a long time then probably came back too early - I had little choice given the circumstances. To be honest, I wasn't playing that well before the injury anyway.

"When I was out I learned a lot about myself as a player and a person.

"This season I have some renewed hope and optimism.

"You do not realise how much you miss all of this when you are away. It is special to play for this football club."

Manager Matthew Bates and some of the players have been a touch critical of the atmosphere at Victoria Park last season, although they always qualify with the fact that there was little in the way to shout about coming from the players.

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Donaldson is thankful to be back in front of the fans, performing somewhere near his best.

"It is brilliant to play here even when things aren't going great," he said.

"We have just been clapped off after drawing 0-0 with Barrow at home, that's where we are. I think the fans know what we were trying to do."

It's been a hectic few weeks for Pools, as games have come thick and fast at this level and Donaldson has not exactly had too many games in the last 18 months.

But he's not feeling the pace.

"Things are perfect when you are getting results," said Donaldson.

"It is a great place to be at the moment. Training is good. The lads not playing have been supporting.

"Everyone wants to keep the shirt. It is about more than the XI on the pitch."