Jets recruit vows goals as Merrick takes charge

Irish striker Roy O’Donovan trained with his new Jets teammates for the first time on Monday and liked what he saw as Ernie Merrick put his side through a tough opening session.

O’Donovan spent two years at the Mariners – scoring 19 goals in 45 games – but has made the move up the M1 to a new-look Jets side looking to break a seven-year absence from the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.


Newcastle have lacked an out-and-out goal-scorer in recent seasons but O’Donovan believes he’s the man to fill the void at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“That is a responsibility I am excited by,” O’Donovan told the Herald. 

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“You set out wanting to do better than the year before. Once the season gets going, maybe seven or eight games, you know where you stand. You make a target then.

“That is what I promised to bring – a lot of energy to the shirt and some goals.”


The 31-year-old revealed his decision to join the Jets was brought about his desire for success and believes Newcastle are well-placed to challenge the league’s bigger sides next season.

“I am ambitious and still have aspirations of playing for my country,” O’Donovan said.

Irish striker Roy O’Donovan has vowed to bring goals to the Newcastle Jets.

“I could have easily signed for a couple more years at the Mariners, coasted along, nice lifestyle, but that is not me. I’m here to win things and threaten to win things.

“If you went up to mid-February, you would say the Jets aren’t far away. Add five or six on to that who know this league and have won things in this league, a new manager … the club is starting to structure itself right.”

Jets kick off new era under Merrick


O’Donovan joins former Brisbane Roar attacker Dimi Petratos as new additions to Newcastle’s front line, while Ernie Merrick is also keen to add a foreign attacking midfielder to the mix.

And with last-season’s leading scorer Andrew Nabbout and Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko back on deck, O’Donovan is confident the Jets will have plenty of goals in them.

“To score goals what you need is plenty of service,” O’Donovan said.

Andrew Nabbout netted both goals as Newcastle Jets downed Melbourne City 2-1 on Friday night.

“With Nabbout, Petratos and an attacking midfielder to come it looks good. Steve Ugarkovic, Devante Clut, Aleksandr Kokko, they can influence games in different ways.

“If everything goes right behind me, we will surprise a lot of people.”