Donnelly's key role in tempting Fulham defender to join Pools on loan

Liam Donnelly helped convince new boy Sean Kavanagh to reject a host of other League Two clubs and sign for Hartlepool United, according to Craig Hignett.

Friday, 6th January 2017, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 11:53 am
Pools new boy Sean Kavanagh. Picture courtesy of Hartlepool United

Pools snapped up the 22-year-old on a season-long loan deal from Fulham yesterday, beating off a number of fourth tier clubs who were vying for his signature.

And Hignett has revealed that some kind words from friend and former Craven Cottage teammate Donnelly did the trick in getting the deal over the line.

He said: “Liam Donnelly is a good friend of his so I think he has told him about the club and what we do here which has helped.

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“I have absolutely no doubt he will be an asset for this football club.

“He had other options. But we’re delighted he’s chosen us ahead of other clubs who were interested.”

Versatile Kavanagh can play anywhere across the back or in midfield, but has been signed primarily as a left-back by Hignett.

And, having been playing week-in, week-out for Fulham’s Under-23 side, albeit as a left-sided centre-half, he is fit and ready to take his place in the Pools squad for tomorrow’s clash with Grimsby Town.

Hignett has even likened him to summer signing Donnelly.

“He’s similar to Liam Donnelly in the fact he’s come through at Fulham and can play left-back, central defence or in midfield if we need him to,” said Hignett.

“We need players who can slot in to different positions who are versatile and can do what we want them to do – Sean fits right in to that category.”

Despite the recent departure of Toto Nsiala to Shrewsbury Town, this is no knee-jerk reaction from Pools.

Hignett says the club have been tracking the highly-rated youngster, who going back just a season was a regular starter in the Championship, for some time.

“We earmarked him early,” he said.

“He is quick and aggressive.

“He is not a massive lad but he is very competitive and has a fantastic left foot.

“We have Sean in and we wanted him all along, he is someone we have looked at for a while.

“He might not be the biggest but he’s a real competitor and I think he’ll be a really good addition to the squad.

He can be a left-sided centre-half and he’s not a big lad but is strong and gets stuck in.

“He is a good addition and he will prove to be and let’s see what else happens.”