Ryan Donaldson on the responsibilities of being Hartlepool United captain

Ryan Donaldson is embracing the responsibilities of wearing the captain’s armband ahead of his first full season as Hartlepool United skipper.

Thursday, 1st August 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st July 2019, 16:33 pm
Ryan Donaldson was confirmed as Hartlepool United club captain for the 2019-20 season (photo: Hartlepool United).

Manager Craig Hignett chose the 28-year-old to lead the Pools team out for the last few months of the 2018-19 season and it’s a duty he has retained ahead of the new campaign despite some stiff competition.

Donaldson has missed pre-season due to a stubborn calf injury that looks set to see him sidelined for the competitive season kick-off at home to Sutton United on August 3 (3pm kick-off).

Summer signings Michael Raynes and Gus Mafuta have provided a leadership boost to the side and have both stood in as captain in Donaldson’s absence.

“We’ve brought in players like Gus Mafuta and Michael Raynes who are natural leaders themselves,” said the Hartlepool skipper.

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“We’ve already got the likes of Feaths [Nicky Featherstone], Fraser [Kerr] and Nobsa [Liam Noble] too who are also that kind of mould, it’s just who they are as players and people.

“Whatever the gaffer decided was always going to be fine by me but I am proud that I can continue as skipper and be given the chance to lead this group.

“I think we’re pretty lucky to have so many people who can really help us and hopefully it gets us where we want to be.”

Donaldson also feels that being Hartlepool captain is something that will continue to have a positive impact on himself as a player.

“I was delighted to be handed the captaincy in the latter part of last season and I am really pleased to keep hold of it going in to 2019/20,” he added in his captain’s column in the award-winning ‘Blue Print’ programme.

“Being given the armband last year had an effect on me.

“You become more aware of the way you behave around the place and you try to provide a bit of an example for others.

“Maybe in the past I’ve been one of those players who just focused on what I needed to do to be ready for a Saturday but as captain I think there’s a bit of making sure that everyone does the same.”