Anglesey football star Dion Donohue hopes to play a major part in Portsmouth’s quest for promotion to the Football League Championship in the remaining weeks of this season.
Luck has not been kind to the 25-year-old this term, injuries restricting him to just nine first-team appearances, in contrast to the 36 matches he played in for Pompey the campaign before.
Now, however, Dion is returning to his sharpest and is ultra-keen to succeed for a Portsmouth squad currently lying fourth in League Division One and aiming for automatic promotion.
“I played most of last year, but have been hampered by injury this season,” said the Ynys Môn raised Donohue.
“It’s been a good season for the team, but not for me personally, but now I’m back fit and hope to be playing again soon.”
Dion came on as a late substitute in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Charlton and was on the bench for the midweek 3-2 win away to Walsall, so still remains very much part of manager Kenny Jackett’s plans.
“The aim now is to push for promotion,” added Donohue.
“There’s a quiet confidence that we can still clinch promotion automatically, although the play-offs look the more likely at the moment, but if we keep the performance levels as high as we have been you never know.
“It’s every player’s dream to play at as high a level as possible, and to play in the Championship would be a dream come true.
“We’ve got the Checkatrade Trophy Final coming up (against Sunderland on March 31) too, so there’s lots to play for.”
Dion spent six years with the Everton Academy and began his senior career as a 16-year-old with home village side Bodedern Athletic.
He went on to play for Holyhead Hotspur, Porthmadog and Caernarfon Town, with whom he landed a treble of Welsh Alliance title, Cookson Cup and FAW Trophy under Lee Dixon in 2012/13, before trying his luck in the English pyramid system.
Dion signed for English Non-League side Sutton Coldfield Town in 2014, guiding them to promotion from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division 1 South.
His performances earned him a trial with Chesterfield in 2015, where he impressed to earn a professional contract, before making his debut for the Spireites on September 12, 2015 against Colchester.
He featured in 56 games for the club and was named Players’ Player of the Year at the end of 2016/17.
Donohue made his move to the south coast for an undisclosed fee in August 2017 on a two-year deal, with the club holding the option for a further 12 months.
He has been employed predominantly as a left-back with Pompey, having shone in his earlier years as an attacking midfielder.
Dion was asked whether he felt destined for a professional career while playing in North Wales.
“Not really,” he said. “It was more to do with the area and the fact not many scouts seem to make it up to North Wales.
“There are a lot of good players aged 19-20 in the north (Wales) but a lot don’t get discovered.
“I thought maybe my time had come and gone, but when I moved to Birmingham and got involved with a club up there, players started to tell me it could happen and that Football League clubs had picked up players from there.”
Now, with the possibility of Championship football in sight, does Dion think he could make it into a future Wales squad?
“That’s always the dream, to represent your country, but for now I’m just concentrating on Portsmouth and helping the club push for promotion,” he said.