The Central Coast Mariners have bolstered their attacking stocks for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season with former English Premier League striker Roy O’Donovan joining the yellow and navy on a two-year deal.
The 29-year-old Irishman played under Roy Keane at Sunderland before spells with Coventry City and Northampton Town amongst other U.K. based outfits.
Before joining Keane’s ‘Black Cats’ in the English Premier League, the under-21s Republic of Ireland International broke onto the professional football scene in his hometown with Cork City to rack up an impressive goalscoring record across three seasons, which included a League of Ireland Championship in 2005.
O’Donovan’s impressive run of form earned him a call up to the English Premier League with Sunderland which broke the League of Ireland's record for highest transfer fee in 2007 that also saw the in form striker knock back an offer from Fulham.
The former Blackpool attacker's most recent goalscoring spree was with Brunei DPMM FC in Singapore’s S.League where he managed to bag an impressive 15 goals in 24 league appearances throughout the 2014 campaign as the club's marquee player under former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean.
O’Donovan is raring for round one of the Hyundai A-League and spoke very highly of Australian football.
“I’m very excited and looking forward to playing in the A-League and representing the Central Coast Mariners, I was up there last week and it’s a beautiful place and looks like a terrific place to play football,” O’Donovan said.
“It’s [The Hyundai A-League] a well respected league and it’s a league that I’ve always felt that I wanted to be a part of and I’m now very proud to say that I am a Central Coast Mariners player.
“Playing with Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career. Roy Keane was an idol of mine growing up and it was terrific to play under him and to play at that level of football was an incredible learning curve for me.
“I’m hungry to do well at the Central Coast Mariners. I consider myself a number nine, I like to play off the shoulder of the last defender and being a nuisance to central defenders and hopefully a goalscorer,” O’Donovan said.
The Central Coast bound striker will join his Mariners team mates in early July for a full pre-season under Tony Walmsley who noted his newest striker as a major off-season coup.
“Roy comes with outstanding references from top managers in the UK including Roy Keane,” Walmsley said. “He is a very humble and genuine character who will fit our community club profile,” he said.
“To have a striker join the Mariners with an identified work ethic who is also a proven goal scorer with natural pace and speed of thought is very exciting. The type of striker Roy is, will give our attacking midfielders room to operate with his good forward runs.
“With our ability to get service in from both flanks and our creativity in midfield I’m expecting a high return from Roy this season,” Walmsley said.