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In-demand Irish striker O'Donovan makes move to A-League side's arch rivals

The 31-year-old former Cork City striker has signed a two-year deal with Newcastle Jets.

ROY O’DONOVAN WILL be playing his football with Newcastle Jets until at least 2019 after signing a two-year deal with the A-League club.

O’Donovan had attracted plenty of interest in Australia after scoring 19 times in 45 A-League appearances during two seasons with Central Coast Mariners.

Reports down under suggested that the 31-year-old Corkman also had offers from Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Central Coast Mariners offered O’Donovan a substantial increase on his current deal but — according to Fox Sports — they still weren’t close to matching the contract that was put on the table by Newcastle Jets, their arch rivals in the A-League.

O’Donovan will now make the short move up the south-east coast of Australia, with the club set to return for pre-season training at the end of June.

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“I want to score a lot more goals in the Hyundai A-League,” O’Donovan told Newcastle Jets’ official website. “Obviously the Jets are transitioning between managers and there are a lot of players out of contract, but if we can get the right type of creative players in the team then I sense that we will be able to push on.

“Obviously joining from Central Coast will be seen as a little bit controversial, but as a professional footballer this is the next step in my career. I will be moving up to Newcastle with my family — it’s a beautiful part of Australia I think it will be a great place for us to live.”

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Chelsea - Stadium of Light O'Donovan joined Sunderland from Cork City in 2007. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

O’Donovan — who played for the likes of Sunderland and Coventry City after leaving Cork City in 2007 — will be hoping to steer his new club to better fortunes after they finished this season at the bottom of the A-League table, a point behind Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners.

“We’re ecstatic that Roy and his family have chosen Newcastle over the other offers that were on the table for him both domestically and internationally,” said Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna.

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Paul Dollery

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