Date:Wednesday April 15 2009
O'Donovan was an interesting loan signing from Tony Parkes back on deadline day, because he was a fairly unknown entity in English football - he originally plied his trade in the Irish leagues with Cork City (once the old stomping grounds of Reading's Kevin Doyle) and most recently, in the SPL with Dundee United.
However, his time at Dundee United was a frustrating one. Talking to the Blackpool Gazette, the Irishman spoke of his dismal time North of the border.
'Dundee I detested so when I was offered another loan move, to Blackpool, I was worried.'
United had wanted the 23-year-old for near enough two seasons, so he thought he would go to the SPL and play regularly, improving his game and trying to cement a place in the Sunderland side a year later. His experience was quite the opposite.
Such are the fortunes of many a loan player, he went there, but was lost in the wilderness and hardly featured for the other Tangerines (it's more Orange...but to be picky about it would be stupid!).
He only started 7 games for 'The Terrors' in Scotland, with a further 4 appearances from the bench in the league, netting just the solitary goal in a 2-0 victory against St Mirren at Tannadice Park.
While he hasn't got onto the scoresheet yet for the Seasiders, he has something that is more important to a player than anything - his love for the game is back.
'It has just been fantastic at Blackpool. It has given me back my love of the game and I am only looking forward now, whereas at Dundee I just didn't want to be there.'
'I think the fact that Tony selected me for the Preston game on Saturday was fantastic. I had barely kicked a ball for four weeks because of the appendix operation and it was great the manager showed enough faith to put me back in. It was tough to come straight back. I was a yard off the pace and probably looked two yards off it!'
It's anyone's guess what will happen to him at the end of the season. With a year left on his Sunderland contract, he's not entirely sure himself, but he's delighted that Tony Parkes, Steve Thompson and Gary Parkinson have instilled a faith in him that he never had at Dundee United.
'Whatever happens I couldn't have asked for any more from the management at the club.'
Regardless of what has happened in the past in his career since joining Sunderland from Cork City, the more important thing for Roy, and The Tangerines, is that now he is enjoying his football again, his game can only improve - hopefully, starting this Saturday against Charlton Athletic at Bloomfield Road in a game that could very well assure safety for Blackpool Football Club and condemn Charlton Athletic to playing next season in League One.
Date:Wednesday April 15 2009
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Lenihan loan ends (Tuesday November 25 2014)
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