RYAN Donaldson has completed a move to non league side Morpeth Town following the expiration of his contract at Hartlepool United.

The 30-year-old midfielder has joined the Northern Premier League side and taken up a role within the academy after spending four years with Pools. 

Pools club captain was offered a new deal at the club but Donaldson has opted to drop down the divisions in search of regular first-team football. 

While Donaldson was the club captain, he found starts hard to come by last season. 

However, he did score the decisive penalty in the Pools penalty shootout win over Torquay United that saw them clinch promotion from the National League. 

With over 100 appearances for Pools to his name, Donaldson said: "I said to the manager of Hartlepool I’ve not taken it lightly"

"We got promoted and you felt like you deserved that chance to play in the league again. Four years of hard work then you do it, to step away was really difficult.

"The way we went up, the way the season went. It was a perfect ending for me so I can walk away with my head held high.

"The way it has been going over the last few years and the things that are set in place here at Morpeth, we have scope to really push on to become another club in the North East that is up there with best of the North East non-league teams"

"I wanted to get into the coaching side, either at Hartlepool or if I left there. When I got to 30, I knew I wanted to start coaching and I’ve known academy director Nicky Gray for a few years so I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of it.

"With the academy starting this year at Morpeth, it aligned perfectly with my football journey. I wasn’t sure how full-time football and the academy coaching was going to work together."

Donaldson has followed in the footsteps in former Pools midfielder Liam Noble who joined the Highwaymen in 2019.