HARTLEPOOL are expected to offer Matty Dolan a route back to regular football following his exit from Valley Parade.

The former Middlesbrough midfielder was released by City yesterday after finding opportunities hard to come by. He played only 29 times – 15 as a sub – in 15 months with the club.

Ronnie Moore's Pools, where he has had two previous loan spells, are likely to chase Dolan for a permanent deal. Fellow League Two club York are also known to be admirers of the left-footed player.

Phil Parkinson admitted the decision to let Dolan go was similar to when he released Carl McHugh last summer.

He said: “Matty has been a good member of the squad and came in towards the end of the season and played well.

“But it was a bit like with Carl. As much as Matty is a good player to have around, in my heart of hearts I didn’t see him as a regular starter.

“It’s time for him to be a central part in the team somewhere else. I know there have been a couple of inquiries about him for next year.”

Dolan spent a month with Hartlepool last season but was forced to cut it short after just two outings when he injured his hamstring during a pre-match warm-up.

Parkinson confirmed that City have taken up the second-year option on Frenchman Chris Routis. He is still in discussion with the other players whose contracts are due to run out and they are likely to drift into next week.

City are also being linked with Walsall keeper Richard O’Donnell – but they would face plenty of competition.

Parkinson is in the market for another stopper to compete with Ben Williams but will not discuss possible targets.

Sources in the West Midlands claim the Bantams are one of a group of clubs chasing O’Donnell, who is reluctant to sign a new deal with the Saddlers.

Sheffield-born O’Donnell, 26, was named Walsall’s player of the year after claiming 21 clean sheets.

City are thought to be among the clubs alerted by his possible availability. Millwall and Reading are also rumoured to be keeping close tabs.