Striker O’Donovan leaves Cobblers after having his contract terminated

HE'S OFF - Roy O'Donovan has had his contract with the Cobblers terminated
HE'S OFF - Roy O'Donovan has had his contract with the Cobblers terminated

Striker Roy O’Donovan has left the Cobblers after having his contract terminated - and it is being reported he has already signed for Singapore League side Brunei DPMM.

The Irishman put pen to paper on a new two-year Sixfields deal last summer, but new manager Chris Wilder has decided he is not in his plans and O’Donovan has departed the club.

And it is being reported that Brunei DPMM FC have signed O’Donovan as one of their five overseas players after he underwent a trial with the club at the start of the year.

The 28-year-old was brought to Northampton on a short-term deal last January by then manager Aidy Boothroyd.

He proved an instant hit, playing a major role in the club securing a place in the promotion play-offs, and scoring the only goal in the semi-final first-leg win over Cheltenham Town at Sixfields.

A misdiagnosis of a hernia problem over the summer led to O’Donovan struggling for form and goals in the early part of this season, before he eventually underwent an operation to rectify the problem in October.

On his return to fitness, the former Sunderland man again struggled to hold down a place in the team, and when Andy King was made caretaker manager following Boothroyd’s sacking in December. O’Donovan was allowed to undergo his trial Brunei DPMM.

That trial had seemingly come to to nothing at the time and O’Donovan returned to Northampton, but he failed to make a start under new manager Wilder, and was left out of the squad completely for Tuesday night’s trip to Torquay United.

Wilder has brought in strikers Alan Connell, Emile Sinclair and John Marquis, and O’Donovan has seen himself fall well down the pecking order.

His most recent start for Town was on October 12.

In all, O’Donovan made 29 starts and six substitute appearances for the Cobblers, scoring eight goals.

He only scored twice this season, in the Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons in August and the 3-1 Sixfields win over Newport County a few days later.

His last appearance for the club was as a second-half substitute in the 3-1 Sky Bet League Two defeat to Chesterfield last month.

O’Donovan now looks set to continue his career with DPMM, who are managed by former Blackburn Rovers boss Steve Kean.

“Roy is a speedy player and likes to play off the shoulder of a defender and make runs behind,” Kean told the Brunei Times.

“If we have two similar strikers, two big men, that would be predictable. So with the contrast, we can keep the defenders thinking.

And he added: “Roy is very fit and conscientious about fitness,” said Kean.

“He works a lot on injury prevention and he can be someone the local players can look up to as a role model.”

DPMM start their S-League campaign against Albirex Niigata next Saturday (Feb 22).

As well as O’Donovan having his contract terminated at the Cobblers, loan defender James Hurst has returned to Crawley Town after the completion of his one-month loan.