News Singapore Premier League • February 20, 2014
Former Sunderland Striker Roy O’Donovan Ready for S.League
Written by: Zack Rahim
It will take some time, but DPMM FC’s marquee signing Roy O’Donovan has declared his confidence in playing an important role in the club’s Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League campaign.
Lacing up in Asia for the first time, the 28-year-old Irish striker knows he will need to adapt to the climate and his new teammates, but it is a test that he’s more than willing to sit for.
“This is a new challenge for me and a great opportunity for me at this stage of my career,” said the former Sunderland striker after his second training session with the club on Tuesday.
“I feel sharp in training but it will take a couple of games for me to be 100 per cent.
“I’ll work extremely hard and do what the manager and coach asks of me during training, and I hope this will be a good year for DPMM FC.
“I’m optimistic we’ll have a successful season. Realistically, we need a good start and then build from there,” admitted O’Donovan, who arrives from English League Two (fourth division) side Northampton Town after a year there.
With experience playing in the top four tiers of English football, and stints in two Scottish Premier League clubs, it is easy to see why DPMM FC signed the former Republic of Ireland Under-21.
The heat and humidity will pose a problem for O’Donovan though, who was the first player to head into the showers after training at the club’s Jerudong Mini Stadium base.
The dual difficulty of adjusting to his new surroundings and teammates means a place in the starting-11 for Saturday’s season-opener against Albirex Niigata (S) FC is not a guarantee.
“This is still his first few days and he’s still getting used to his teammates,” said Kean.
“He has been training in the UK so fitness is not an issue, but his body clock still needs to adjust,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
It is apparent that Kean’s reputation contributed to O’Donovan’s decision to sign for the club.
“This is a good club with good teammates and a good coach. The coach is fantastic and has a really good name in the UK,” O’Donovan said.
“Training is very professional and intense and no one gets off easy,” he laughed.
Completing the list of DPMM FC’s five imports are Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi, Irish midfielder Joseph Gamble, Croatian midfielder Roberto Alviz and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic.