Feb 14 2013 By Tim Street
Clayton Donaldson Image 3
CLAYTON Donaldson reckons playing at Stamford Bridge will be his reward for years of toiling at some of the country’s less salubrious footballing haunts.
Before making his way to Brentford via Hibernian and Crewe Alexandra, the striker spent five years playing for the likes of Scarborough, Halifax Town, Harrogate Town and York City.
It will all seem a million miles away from the glitz and glamour of the Kings Road Donaldson will experience in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round replay.
He said: “When I was playing non-league football for all those years, some of the places we had to visit were beyond belief, but you just got on with it.
“Barrow was the worst. Even for a northern lad like me, Barrow seemed like the end of the earth. It was pretty ramshackle and always cold
and windy there, and we always seemed to lose.
“Going to Chelsea will be a very different prospect. It will be like visiting millionaires’ row, and the lads are naturally excited about experiencing it all.
“Perhaps it’s my reward for all those years of hard work at far flung places – I couldn’t even dream of playing at places like Chelsea back then.
“I’ve done the nitty- gritty, and it has taken me to where I am today. In all seriousness, I would never disrespect clubs like Barrow as
playing them made me the player I am now.”
Donaldson has struck 19 goals this season, but readily admits he will sacrifice getting his name on the score sheet at Stamford Bridge if it means Brentford getting a result.
He added: “I would happily not score and let someone else take the glory if it meant we won. We’re all about the team here, and we all do
whatever job required for the team.
“In the game at our place I was tracking Ashley Cole a lot of the time, which worked as it really frustrated him, and if I’m asked to do
something similar on Sunday rather than leading the line, that’s fine by me.”