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O'Donovan returns as he looks to continue outscoring Mariners on their own pitch

7:17 AM SGT 18/12/18
Roy O'Donovan
The Newcastle Jets striker is back just in time for another F3 derby

After serving a 10-game suspension, Roy O'Donovan will return for Newcastle Jets against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday - a side he ran riot against last season.

The former Mariners striker scored a first-half hat-trick in his debut A-League game for Newcastle on the Central Coast in Round 1 last season and returned to the venue in Round 27 to bag a double.

That five-goal haul meant he scored more goals against the Mariners last season than any Central Coast player scored throughout the entirety of their 2017/18 campaign.

Blake Powell and Connor Pair were the club's top scorers last season with four goals each, putting O'Donovan's exploits on the Coast in some worrying perspective.

The Jets striker would finish the season with nine goals, though his campaign would end with a red card in the A-League grand final for a shocking challenge on Lawrence Thomas

O'Donovan's absence has been felt by Newcastle, who have scored just seven goals from eight games this campaign - the second fewest in the competition.

But the Irish striker is back just in time to inflict further misery upon a winless Mariners side with goals on his mind.

“The beauty of me coming back now is that I’m an experienced player and my game is built around instinct and scoring goals," O'Donovan told the Herald.

"You don’t lose that over the space of 10 weeks. My job is to score goals and hopefully that starts soon."

A Central Coast side boasting the worst defence this season presenting potentially easy pickings for a player desperate to hit the ground running.