Former DPMM FC duo reunited in A-League

Fadhil Yunus

Former DPMM FC duo Steve Kean and Roy O Donovan locked horns for the first time with their teams when the latter’s Newcastle Jets paid a visit to the former’s Melbourne Victory at the AAMI Park in the A-League recently.

The pair worked together at the Brunei-based club in 2014 when Kean was head coach while O’Donovan was the club’s marquee signing.

The striker enjoyed an excellent debut season after ploughing 15 goals in 24 league appearances.

Under the guidance of his former head coach Kean, the Cork-born native collected his first major honour with the Gegar Gegar men following triumph in the Singapore League Cup.

Kean guided the club to a maiden Singapore league title a year later and coached the club until the end of the 2017 season.

Newcastle Jets striker Roy O’Donovan. PHOTO: THE AUSTRALIAN

Kean and O’Donovan also received individual accolades during their time in the Singapore top flight with the former winning Coach of the Year and the latter named the most valuable player in the Singapore League Cup.

Fast forward to February 2021, the pair was reunited once again but on opposite dugouts as O’Donovan got the better of his former coach when the striker’s team sealed a 1-0 win.

Kean was recently appointed as the assistant coach of Melbourne Victory as part of Grant Brebner’s coaching staff while O’Donovan gained a reputation as one of the prolific marksmen in Australian football.

O’Donovan, who also played for Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar, also helped Newcastle Jets reach the A-League Grand Final in his first year with the club.

Last month, the Irishman marked his 50th goal in the A-League after netting in his side’s 2-1 win against Wellington Phoenix.

Currently, Newcastle Jets sit in sixth place in the league while Melbourne Victory are down in 11th place.

The A-League, the top tier of the Australian football league, is currently in progress until June 30.

Sydney FC are the defending champions after beating Melbourne City 1-0 after extra time in the Grand Final thanks to a Rhyan Bert Grant’s 100th– minute winner.