Liam Donnelly: Motherwell sign Hartlepool defender for undisclosed fee

Liam Donnelly takes on Jason Cummings during a Northern Ireland v Scotland under-21 international
Liam Donnelly (left) faced Scotland while playing for Northern Ireland at under-21 level

Northern Ireland defender Liam Donnelly says Motherwell's cup progress helped persuade him to switch from Hartlepool United for an undisclosed fee.

Donnelly, capped once by his country in 2014, has signed a two-year contract with the Fir Park club.

Motherwell lost to Celtic in last season's Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup finals.

"It's a massive club and how well they did last season was unbelievable," the 22-year-old told the Well website.external-link

Donnelly, who had a trial with Hearts two years ago, added that it is "something I want to kick on with the lads this season and hopefully improve on".

The defender started his career with hometown club Dungannon Swifts before earning a move to Fulham in 2012.

He failed to break into the first team with Fulham and had a loan spell with Crawley Town before joining Hartlepool in 2016.

Donnelly made 29 appearances last season as Pools finished 15th in England's National League and has previously played under Well boss Stephen Robinson when he coached Northern Ireland's youth sides.

"As soon as I knew of the interest from Motherwell, I was delighted," said Donnelly.

"I know the manager really well, I worked with him for Northern Ireland from when I was quite young, so there are a lot of factors in why I wanted to come here."

Donnelly becomes Motherwell's second signing of the summer, with goalkeeper Mark Gillespie joining on Tuesday after leaving Walsall.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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