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McKinna sealed Jets move: O'Donovan

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/06/2017 Emma Kemp

Many assume Newcastle striker Roy O'Donovan was courted with plenty of cash.

The Irishman says he was wooed north by a Scot.

In demand from numerous A-League rivals and unsure whether to leave Central Coast for a better deal, O'Donovan revealed it was Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna who finally tipped the scales in favour of a move up the F3.

"I had three or four phone calls during last season when I was playing at the Mariners," O'Donovan said.

"It was going to be a difficult decision to come up the road and I was to-ing and fro-ing, 'do I really want to do it?'

"I came up here and had a chat with Lawrie and got a good gut feeling.

"Anything Lawrie has put his hand to in the past has been successful, and he's now brought Ernie (coach Ernie Merrick) in and some good players so I made the right move."

O'Donovan, who scored 11 goals in 26 games for the lower-table side last season, did receive a significant pay hike the financially strapped Mariners couldn't match.

And after subsequent signing of new coach Merrick along with experienced heads Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Daniel Georgievski and Dimi Petratos, day one of pre-season had him "more excited than I've been in a while".

O'Donovan's primary aim is to lead the squad's younger members to finals football - something the former Sunderland man is yet to experienced in Australia.

The other is to show his new teammates he's not always as hot-headed as they might believe.

"I've only ever played against them," he said.

"They probably thought some lunatic was going to turn up this morning, but I'm a normal guy. I play hard but I'm pretty quiet off the pitch."

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