Roy O'Donovan is looking forward to linking up with Wes Hoolahan as the Corkonian returns to his former A-League side Newcastle Jets.
O'Donovan left the Jets to join Brisbane Roar on a two-year deal last June but despite scoring seven times in 14 games, he found himself out of favour with manager Robbie Fowler.
Now, after an 11th-hour deadline day deal, his first game back could now be against his other former Aussie club, Central Coast Mariners. Their fans unfurled a banner that depicted the striker as a snake before he blasted a hat-trick past their side on his original debut in 2017.
“I’m ready to go. I was ready for [last Saturday’s] game, unfortunately, the transfer went through so late that we couldn’t get it done, but I’m buzzing for my first game which could be the Mariners next week,” O’Donovan told newcastlejets.com.au.
“It’s great to be back home, and I just can’t wait to get going.”
O'Donovan scored 20 goals in 35 games with the Jets, the highest goals-to-games ratio of any player in the club’s history, and helped them to the 2018 Grand Final.
That game, however, ended in disappointment as trailing deep in injury time, he was sent off for a high boot to the opposition goalkeeper's head under a dropping ball. He was subsequently suspended for 10 games.
In O'Donovan's absence, Newcastle find themselves bottom of the 11-team league but the former Ireland international thinks the team can improve.
“I don’t think the lads are too far away. I think I’ve signed on to something good, and onwards and upwards.”
With Hoolahan already there, the Irish influence at Newcastle is on the rise.
“Australians and Irish have similar qualities and respect similar qualities in people that get stuck in, give their all, and don’t moan and whinge,” O’Donovan said.
“This Club is all about good culture. Bringing the lads in, they have to be good boys, the dressing room that I went into just before was full of energy, it was bouncing, and that’s a Club and a team that is going through a sticky patch.
“Once you come out of that sticky patch, there are a lot of good things there and the culture will bring you through that every time.”