Donawa aiming to earn contract at Darlington
Justin Donawa says he is encouraged by the strides he has made at Darlington FC and hopes he can ultimately secure a deal with the English non-League club.
The Bermuda international winger is on trial at Darlington, who play in the Vanarama National League North, the sixth tier of the English pyramid.
“My time here at Darlington has gone very well,” Donawa said. “I feel like I have been able to get on well with the guys on the team, with the manager Alun Armstrong and also the rest of the staff.”
Donawa started trials at the club after returning from international duty with the national team at last month’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
“The pace of the game over here is very fast and it definitely takes some time to adapt to it,” he added. “But I’m quickly getting up to the speed with the play and have been able to express myself and show my qualities at the same time.”
Donawa did his chances of securing a deal no harm after coming on as a halftime substitute and netting in Darlington’s comfortable 4-0 win in a preseason friendly away to Northallerton at Ainderby Road on Tuesday.
He tapped in his team’s second goal from close range near the hour mark after having an earlier effort saved.
“I’m very happy to have made a good impression so far these last two weeks in training and in a few games and hopefully looking for a future with the club,” Donawa said.
Also at the club are Donawa’s compatriots Osagi Bascome and Tevahn Tyrell, who featured in the convincing win over Northallerton as well.
Midfielder Bascome, who played in all three group games for Bermuda at the Gold Cup, scored a “wonder goal” in Darlington’s 2-2 draw away to Darlington Town in a preseason friendly on July 9.
Darlington will play their final preseason game at home today against Middlesbrough Under 23s at Blackwell Meadows before their August 3 League season opener away to Farsley Celtic.
•Meanwhile, also on trial in the UK is Bermuda striker Jonté Smith, who has been included in Cheltenham Town’s squad for their final preseason friendly at home to Burnley Under-23s at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium today.
The 24-year-old was released from Sky Bet League One side Oxford United in May.
Smith, who made substitute appearances for Bermuda during the Gold Cup against Haiti and Costa Rica, has played for six clubs in three different countries since being released by Crawley Town in 2014.
He had two goal-laden years in Scandinavia at Kemi Kings of Finland and Norwegian side Floy before returning to England in 2015 after joining Gloucester City in the Vanarama National League North.
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