We learn a little more about Pools star Ryan Donaldson as we quiz him on a different topic for every letter of his name.
R is for Roommate
I was always with Blair Adams earlier in the season. I knew him from my Newcastle days because he was on the books there before he went to Sunderland. We’ve known each other and played against each other for years – and he always tried to kick me! He’s a good roommate – he doesn’t snore and he’s in bed by 9pm so it’s fantastic!
Y is for Youth International
I played for England at Under-17 and Under-19 level and it was brilliant. At the time you don’t know what people are going to go on and achieve but I was in squads with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Nathaniel Clyne and Jack Rodwell – I would say they were the three standout players. We got to the semi-final of a European Championship and played Spain but all of their players are now in La Liga or the Premier League, it was frightening. I don’t think I got a kick for the whole game, it was a real eye-opener.
A is for Away Days
I take a book with me to read on the bus. I just put my headphones in and listen to talkSPORT on low volume while I read. At the minute I’m reading a book called Red Notice, which is all about Russia and how the oligarchs made all of their money, Putin and all that. I’m not particularly fascinated with Russia or anything but it’s an unbelievable book.
N is for Newcastle United
It was good coming through the ranks at Newcastle but quite strange too. I always think it’s harder to come through at the club you support and at Newcastle they’ve only really brought through Steven Taylor, Andy Carroll and Paul Dummett in recent years. For a club that size there should definitely have been more. I sometimes think it’s better for North-East lads to leave the area and go somewhere else to start their career if they’re good enough obviously.
D is for Dining Out
I really like Mexican food so if we’re eating out it would be somewhere like Los Iguanas in town. I like my spicy food, I really like curry too – I would usually go for a Madras or something like that, it’s got to have spice.
O is for Operation
Frustrating has been the word for this season when I have had to have two operations. I am cool with injuries, I understand they are part of the game. It was a weird one this time because it was quite innocuous and I have been quite lucky over my career with injuries – I’ve not had a serious one and then ended up having three operations in the last two years. Hopefully that’s the end of them now because it is hard coming in to training and having to watch the other lads without being able to join in. You have to stay focused and keep your head on what you’re doing to just grind it out.
N is for Nicknames
‘Ry’ is the main one that people call me. I get ‘Donners’ sometimes as well but that’s Liam Donnelly’s too so it can get confusing! ‘Raz’ is quite a weird one that I had at Plymouth – there were two other Ryans in the squad and I was last in so had to make do with ‘Raz’!
A is for Ambitions
I have been fortunate with the clubs that I have been at in that they’ve always been looking up rather than down. It’s always good to leave a club in a better position than when you signed – that’s been the case at the last two clubs I have signed for. That was one of the big reasons I joined Pools – because I want to be a part in taking the Club back in to the Football League.
L is for Loan Spell
My loan at Pools in 2011 was really hard. I remember playing in a friendly for Newcastle against Pools and I played up front. After the game Mick Wadsworth asked me if I fancied coming down to Pools for a month to play as a striker because there were some injuries. I knew it would be tough but playing up front on your own in League One as a young kid was a real eye-opener. I came up against the likes of Southampton, Brentford and Charlton – and I hadn’t really played up front a lot in the years before that so it was really hard. We had a good team with the likes of Ritchie, Sam Collins, Sweens and James Brown and I did enjoy it but the situation was really testing for me at that age.
D is for Dining In
I would always go for curry. My mam has passed down the recipe to me and I am a master at it now. Ginger, chilli, garlic, onions, peppers, chicken, Balti paste and coconut milk. I have done it about 100 times now – it lasts for a week so that’s why I make it! It’s my tea for a week!
S is for School Days
I was alright at school, I quite enjoyed it to be honest. I got 11 GCSEs in the end – the only one I failed was Geography because I forgot to hand the coursework in and that carried about 90% of the marks! As you can tell, it still rankles to this day!
O is for On The Road
I drive a Mercedes CLA at the minute. I have had it for about two years and it’s great on the motorways but parking it is awful, it’s just too wide. It’s stupid. And it’s terrible in the snow. During the bad weather the other month I literally had to go and stay with my mam and dad because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up the bank from the flat where I live!
N is for Netflix
I have watched just about everything on Netflix! Most recently I have watched Mindhunter, that was class. I also watched Unabomber fairly recently and I didn’t know anything about that story until I watched it – then spent time googling about it afterwards!