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Donnellan says Devonshire has 'got the best' out of him this season

Photo Credit: Darren Woolley

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Shaun Donnellan (centre) believes Maidenhead United have a squad capable of a top-half finish in the National League as he reflected on his start to life at York Road.

The 24-year-old put pen to paper with Maidenhead in August last year, departing newly-promoted Woking FC at the end of the 2019-20 season, and has since become a mainstay in black and white.

Having previously featured for fellow National League sides Dagenham and Redbridge and Yeovil Town, Donnellan admitted Maidenhead have become his ‘favourite’ club to play for in his career to date.

“I’m really enjoying my time at Maidenhead. I think it’s a fantastic football club with really good management and staff. It’s an enjoyable environment and we’ve got a really good team together,” he said.

“I’m not just saying this but it’s probably my favourite so far. I’m playing my best football and I think the manager has got that out of me. I’ve been a centre half at most of the other clubs I’ve played for and I think switching to midfield was a turning point for me.

“I spoke to (Alan) Devonshire in the summer and he was really interested in bringing me to the club. He had obviously seen me play for Woking against Maidenhead last season and really liked me. I thought that’s the kind of manager I want to be working with. He’s got the best out of me and hopefully I can just carry on with it.”

With 13 appearances and two goals to his name so far, Donnellan has helped the Magpies into sixth place in the table. Under boss Devonshire’s patience and guidance, the midfielder is confident Maidenhead can go on to achieve great things this season.

“He’s very composed and very calm and that’s a great attribute to have. I don’t know if that’s come with experience or it’s just his personality, but to me, it just helps me and the other players focus,” said Donnellan.

“He knows if we’re 1-0 down we’ve got goals in the team and we’ll always score. To be honest, he’s been great.

“Especially right at the start of the season when we had a little bit of a bad run, he’s stayed really calm and believed in us and I think that’s why we’re doing so well now.

“Our objective is to get to the 50 point mark and keep our National League status. We haven’t set a real target but we’ve got a good bunch of players and we’re going into every game now expecting to get a result.

“If we can have a good run of games and keep winning instead of drawing and losing, I think we could easily finish in the top half which would be brilliant.”

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