Roy O’Donovan is hitting new heights this season after a blistering start to the campaign with Newcastle Jets.

Saturday saw Newcastle record a 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix to maintain their unbeaten record, leaving them third and just two points behind first placed Sydney FC.

Embed from Getty Images

O’Donovan sits atop the A-League scoring charts on seven goals in five games with even opposition players like Phoenix’s Goran Paracki at the weekend wanting to help the striker pull ahead in the race for the golden boot.

The Irishman offers Newcastle much more than just goals however and is the perfect number nine to bring attackers behind him into play in a cohesive unit.

His work off the ball stretches opposition defences and allows for players like Dimitri Petratos and Andrew Nabbout to run into space left by him dragging defenders away.

The 32-year-old still maintains lethal pace which allows him to also play on the shoulder to get in behind centre backs and onto balls played over the top from deeper in midfield.

Thanks to his predatory skills and being in the right place at the right time Andrew Durante and Tom Doyle had nightmares trying to keep track of O’Donovan on Saturday and inevitably couldn’t as he popped up to add two more goals to his tally.

Embed from Getty Images

Perhaps most importantly however is how well O’Donovan leads from the front as a motivator to those behind him to press the ball and win it high up the pitch to start counter attacks.

Jets’ coach Ernie Merrick was more than happy with the output from his front line at the weekend and their ability to hold the ball at the right end of the field.

“We played predominantly in their half,” Merrick said.

“Up until this game we had the most number of passes in the opposition front third and I would think today we would have boosted that.”

“We’re getting really good at holding the ball and setting up the right cross or setting up a one-two and a shot on target.”

Embed from Getty Images

With young Joe Champness also in the squad and starting for the first time on Saturday, O’Donovan is the perfect role model and professional for the 20-year-old starlet to learn from.

“Roy was on fire again and scored a couple of goals so he’s really on top of the world,” Merrick said.

“He’s really good at encouraging the rest of the players around him and helping them out which helps develop some terrific inter-passing.”

Five games into the season O’Donovan is three goals ahead of Sydney FC’s Bobo but whether or not he wins the golden boot is redundant if he keeps providing the invaluable service he does for Newcastle.

In summary: Jets’ fans right now…

 

SHARE
Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan