Former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan departs Sharks in Australia

The 35-year-old was is the second top scorer in the club's history
Former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan departs Sharks in Australia

Roy O'Donovan of the Jets controls the ball during the round 19 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Newcastle Jets. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

CORK soccer ace Roy O'Donovan is on the hunt for a new club after parting ways with Newcastle Jets in Australia, where he hit 32 goals in 66 appearances.

The former league winner with Cork City turns 36 in August and departs the A League side as their second-highest goal-scorer after two stints in New South Wales.

O’Donovan released an emotional statement on social media about his departure: “Thank you Newcastle. 

It’s been a joy to represent the club for the last few years. I’m looking forward to the next challenge wherever that may be.” 

The striker originally joined Newcastle in 2017 from Central Coast Mariners on a two-year contact and made an immediate impact, as the Jets reached the A League Grand Final before losing to Melbourne Victory on penalties.

The Jets were rewarded for their successful 2017/18 season with qualification to the second preliminary round of the 2019 AFC Champions League. The club were drawn against Persija Jakarta of Indonesia, and O’Donovan assisted the first goal for Newcastle in a 3-1 victory.

The northsider, who played with Sunderland, Coventry City and Hibs among others in a career that has taken him around the world, then spent a season at Brisbane Roar, netting seven times in 11 games.

Former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan in Red Star Belgrade stadium 2006. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Former Cork City striker Roy O'Donovan in Red Star Belgrade stadium 2006. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

O’Donovan returned to Newcastle in February 2020 on an 18-month contract, though they missed out on qualification to the Finals Series by three points. This season, Newcastle finished in 11th place, two points from basement side Melbourne Victory.

The last year has been full of personal milestones for O’Donovan as he scored his 50th goal in 100 games, while becoming a citizen of Australia.

“I have been very fortunate to play football all over the world but I feel it’s only now playing in Australia where I’ve got the life and football balance right. The sunshine helps,” he told The Echo in an interview.

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