Official Website of Brunei Darussalam National Olympic Council
Roy eager to prove himself
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DPMM FC's new signing Roy O'Donovan (L) runs onto a pitch during his second training session with the club at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday. BT/ Jason Thomas

DPMM FC's new marquee signing Roy O'Donovan knows he has his best days ahead of him at the club.

A travelled footballer with experience in the top four tiers of professional football in England, the ex-Sunderland striker touched down on Sunday and joined his new teammates for his first training session the next day.

The Irishman's arrival means DPMM FC's search for their fifth import has ended, and the 28-year-old wants to prove just why the club took him as their marquee player for the Singapore League (S-League) - which kicks off this week.

"I'm 28 and I still have a lot of good years in front of me, and I'm hoping to peak at DPMM FC," said O'Donovan after his second training session with the club yesterday.

"Hopefully people will get to see me at my peak when I'm here, and the good results will follow," he added.

"It's very different from where I have played before but I needed something fresh, something new, so that's why I think this move is the right thing at the right time."

The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international looked sharp in training yesterday, and playing off defenders' shoulders, was dangerous with timely runs into the box - calmly slotting home half of the chances afforded to him at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.

But it's not as if DPMM FC coach Steve Kean didn't already know what to expect from the striker.

O'Donovan, whose last club was English League Two (fourth division) side Northampton Town, was on trial with DPMM FC last month before DPMM FC confirmed his signing last week.

Despite the pressure on his shoulders, the striker - who has also played for Championship (second division) sides Blackpool and Coventry City and Scottish Premier League clubs Dundee United and Hibernian - knows he has to manage everyone's expectations.

But more importantly, though, he knows that fulfilling the team's needs - and not his scoring wants - take priority.

"I never put a number on anything," he replied when asked if he had a goal-target for next season.

"I just want to score as much as I can and set up as many as I can. Be a good teammate.

"It's easy to say 'We're going to sign this player or sign that player,' but at the end of the day, I'm just one component in the team," he pointed out.

Indeed, O'Donovan joins a team whose local contingent has remained largely intact over the years, with the nucleus of the side remaining the same as their pre-S-League time in 2009.

O'Donovan will have a familiar face in midfielder and fellow Irishman Joseph Gamble, the two having played together for two years at League of Ireland side Cork City.

Other new signings for the season include midfielder Roberto Alviz (Croatia) and Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic, who join Brazilian striker Rodrigo Tosi as the club's five imports.

Though Kean might feel inclined to start O'Donovan for Saturday's season-opener against Albirex Niigata (S) FC, the coach said he was unsure whether his marquee signing might start or even be on the team list come match day at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.

"I will have to assess that over the next few days, but as you can see, he looked sharp in training," said Kean.

Courtesy from Brunei Times