HARTLEPOOL United winger Josh MacDonald has signed a season-long loan deal with Northern Premier League side Whitby Town. 

MacDonald, 26, drops down from the fourth tier of English football to the seventh in search of regular game time having made just three appearances for Pools since signing last summer.

The winger is currently serving the second year of a two-year contract but was always going to find a place in Dave Challinor's squad hard to come by with promotion to League Two. 

Manager Dave Challinor said: "It's something that has been on the cards for some time in terms of Josh going out and playing some minutes.

"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. 

"He came in with us on the back of 18 months being out with an injury. He didn't have the impact he would have hoped last year, we then changes 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. 

"It's season long in terms of the deal but we'll look at it as things go on. 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 as well."