Ryan Donaldson reflects on new positions and fresh starts at Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United's Ryan Donaldson in action
Hartlepool United's Ryan Donaldson in action

Hartlepool United’s newest defender Ryan Donaldson admits he’s loving life in a Pools back three, or four.

The 27-year-old, more at home as a forward or winger, has been a revelation for Matthew Bates’ men this season playing in a totally new role at the Super 6 Stadium.

And while Donaldson admits he will play anywhere for Pools, as long as he gets his name on the teamsheet, he also revealed a slot on the left of a five-man midfield, where he impressed at Wrexham in midweek, is not totally alien to him.

“I think this role really suits me,” said Donaldson about his wing-back duties.

“When I was at Cambridge we sometimes used to change to a three at the back and I would play on the left of that. I was left wing-back but it was as more of a winger - there wasn’t much defending involved.

“I quite enjoy it. I just want to be in the team and if the gaffer wants to change it always helps to be able to play a few positions.

“I feel more of a threat, cutting in on your right foot. There are differences in the way you have to defend but I am enjoying it.”

Donaldson is now into his second year of a two-year deal at the Vic, and it’s fair to say the jury was out on the player coming into this campaign.

While the former Newcastle United trainee was not one of the worst performers last season, he made his biggest impression during the disastrous start to 2017/18 and then injury plagued him for the rest of the campaign.

As a result, he felt like he came into this season starting afresh, with a point to prove to Poolies on the terraces, as well as new manager Bates.

“I knew this would be a big season after last year,” said Donaldson.

“So I made sure I worked really hard. I have done a lot of work to get myself fit, get in the team and show people what I am about.”