U's land Gateshead forward
Cambridge United have completed the signing of Ryan Donaldson from Gateshead.
Former Newcastle United trainee Donaldson, 22, has joined United on a two-year-contract.
U’s director of football Jez George said: “We are delighted that we have managed to persuade Ryan to commit his future to Cambridge United. He is an extremely talented young player with a fantastic pedigree plus the quality and versatility that made him a really crucial addition to our process of rebuilding the squad.
"Without a doubt, Richard’s influence has played a major part in this signing. He worked with Ryan at Newcastle United and knows his strengths better than anyone. They clearly have a strong mutual respect and we have worked hard to convince Ryan that we can help him to achieve his ambition of playing in the Football League.
"We still have work to do in order to capture our final targets but Ryan is a vital piece of the jigsaw and a very important signing.”
Donaldson, who can play out wide or up front, came through the ranks at Newcastle, making his debut for the Magpies as a substitute in their 1-0 win over Leicester City in August 2009. One further first-team appearance followed, before loan spells at Hartlepool United and Tranmere Rovers.
He was released in June 2012, and signed for Gateshead in August, initially on a six-month deal. This was later extended until the end of the season, and Donaldson made a total of 39 appearances for the Heed, scoring eight goals, including a brace in their 5-1 win over Luton Town in April.
Jez finished by paying tribute to members of an oft maligned profession: “Football agents often get a bad press and I don’t think they get much praise or credit. However, in this case, I would like to thank James & Dave of Achieve Management.
"Their honesty and integrity throughout the whole process enabled the deal to be completed. Like it or not, agents are part of football but James and Dave have been a pleasure to deal with.”