James Donaldson insists he has plenty to offer a Super League club in 2019 after being released by Hull KR – before admitting he’d been given assurances by the Robins over a new deal right up until he was informed he would have to leave the club.
The 27-year-old is now a free agent after being told he would not be offered a new contract by Rovers for 2019. With the injury problems which plagued him earlier in his career now well behind him, Donaldson is adamant he can still perform for a top-flight team next year as he seeks his next move.
However, he admits leaving Hull KR – after being repeatedly informed there was a strong chance of a new deal – is tough to take.
“I was hopeful I’d stay with Rovers, in truth,” Donaldson told League Express.
“I’d had a letter earlier in the year saying that the club were undecided, but at the same time, Tim Sheens was saying that the club were trying to sort a contract.
“Even up to the last week of me being there, they were telling me that – then we survived, and Tim turned around and said there was no deal, which was really hard to take.
“It leaves you with so little time to sort a contract, and it’s hard to take. I loved my time there and it’s hit me like a tonne of bricks, having to leave. It is quite upsetting, but I’d like to thank the board for how they were with me, they were great.”
Donaldson concedes that with the market more saturated than ever before, finding a new club may be difficult – but he is hopeful his undoubted quality shines through for any new employer.
“I’m not the biggest player but I’ve got plenty to offer a team – hopefully in Super League,” he said.
“I brig a lot of energy, enthusiasm and experience. It’s the off-season now, and I’m still training every day just to keep myself in good shape and put myself in a better position to have a big season and a big impact with someone in 2019 all being well.
“It’s a very difficult market to be in right now. A lot of deals were done early on, and that only leaves a handful of opportunities for a lot of players.
“With clubs like Leigh cutting back, it makes it even harder. Players there are looking for full-time deals, and there’s only so much money clubs have. But I’ve been around a while now, I believe I’m doing the right things and I’m well over the injuries which I had earlier in my career. I hope a club can see I’ve got plenty to offer as both a person and a player.”