Roy O’Donovan banned for ten games

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    Roy O’Donovan has been hit with a ten-game ban as a result of ‘serious foul play’ during the 2018 A-League Grand Final.

    He must serve his ten-game ban across A-League and FFA Cup matches, whichever come first, although he does have a seven-day period in which to lodge an appeal, if he wishes to do so.

    An unlikely attempt to challenge for the ball saw O’Donovan’s studs make contact with the face of Melbourne Victory’s Lawrence Thomas in the 93rd minute of the grand final.

    O’Donovan’s counsel Simon Phillips argued that O’Donovan had been ‘careless’ and ‘reckless’ but had made a genuine play for control of the ball.

    However the disciplinary committee remained unconvinced of that. FFA counsel Ivan Griscti said “it does appear that the player [O’Donovan] is looking at the goalkeeper [Thomas].”

    O’Donovan said the incident had not been intentional.

    “I had to make a split-second decision to go with my foot in the hope that if I got a touch the reward was massive – we had a chance to win the grand final,” O’Donovan said.

    “As soon as I left the ground there was no way to stop.”

    He also said that his vision had been affected by a collision with a stray elbow from Besart Berisha shortly before the incident.

    “I feel if my eye was perfect my timing would have been a bit better.

    “As a striker you have a responsibility to attack the ball … unfortunately this time I hit the goalkeeper in the face which I’m devastated about.

    “I have never set out to hurt anybody in my career, nor will I.”

    Newcastle lost the grand final 0-1 amidst controversy regarding the Video Assistant Referee.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • May 18th 2018 @ 4:50pm
      hogdriller said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

      10 games for that?

      Seems the Disciplinary Committees are as inconsistent as some of our Officials.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 4:57pm
        Kangajets said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

        He get off if he was berisha or bobo or Mierzejewski… they all got zero suspension for foul play this year

        However, O’Donovan does deserve a lengthy ban .

        Funny how coaches running into the field and hitting carney is seen as a lesser offence .

    • May 18th 2018 @ 4:54pm
      Kangajets said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

      While O’Donovan deserves his suspension, it’s all about who you play for

      Twice Shane smeltz broke the jets keeper mark birtigitti teeth and neil young broke his jaw and had to retire from serious infection.. smeltz got zero suspension for his face kicking action.

      As for O’Donovan, berisha elbowing him in the head just prior is a poor excuse.. .he deserves his suspension

      Now let’s see all the other clubs get suspensions next year for serious foul play .. lol yeah right

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 5:19pm
      Cousin Claudio said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

      How many weeks did Berisha get for his elbow to O’Donovan’s face.

      Its the third or fourth grand final in a row where he has elbowed someone in the head and gotten away with it scott free.
      And don’t try and say each time it was an accident.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2018 @ 5:20pm
      Griffo said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

      At the time I wasn’t going to be surprised by a 10 game ban and I’m still not (surprised) by the verdict.

      The Jets have anticipated a lengthy ban and are recruiting a striker as back up for O’Donovan – injury or suspension.

      If said striker is scoring regularly then maybe a tough gig for O’Donovan to get a starting place next season.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 5:28pm
      Greg said | May 18th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

      Seriously absurd decision.

      Ivan Griscti states “it does appear the player was looking at the goal keeper”. WTF. Yes, at the time the ball is in the keepers hands. Obviously he was looking at ball and not the goal keeper at the relevant time he challanges for the ball/ lifts his leg etc. To indicate or imply such actions were intentional is seriously misplaced and cruel.

      There is precendent on this. Smeltz on Birra, epl the other day etc. None of those would render a 10 week suspension reasonable.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 6:01pm
        hogdriller said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

        What is seriously absurd is the both legs off the ground, way too high and dangerous kick with studs showing that O Donovan gave Thomas into the face.
        The guy is a hack thug that makes Matt Simon look like a naughty schoolboy.
        Should have been more than 10 considering Avraam Papadopoulos got 7 for spitting in the direction of Simon, wtf.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2018 @ 9:23am
        Griffo said | May 19th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        That’s the problem with looking at the freeze frame image at the last moment: –

        Any player of any ball sport is taught to look at the ball at all times, especially when making contact with equipment or hand/foot; –

        Looking at the whole action O’Donovan has his eyes on the ball, and since it was high, has launched himself in the air with his foot raised up to intercept the flight path of the ball.

        Of course Thomas got there first and caught the ball.

        People also naturally, automatically, look at faces or patterns that look like faces from peripheral vision.

        So the last possible moment, with his eyes on the ball, and with Thomas having caught it, O’Donovan has naturally looked at Thomas’ face at or near impact – Thomas caught the ball ‘well’ before O’Donovan would have got the ball if at all.

        Giving the box is crowded for a free kick into the box, it is reckless and dangerous play.

        Had O’Donovan connect the ball and scored, with a bit of the keeper along the way, it would be interesting to know if the goal would have been allowed, given reckless and dangerous play from either defender or attacker.

        I am not surprised it’s 10 games, but to take action from one frame and not consider the whole play I think is a bit disingenuous.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 6:44pm
      fadida said | May 18th 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

      There were mitigating circumstances, frustration at being a wrongly allowed goal down, real frustration that he was elbowed in the face by Berisha who got away with it.

      Still no excuse for it though, but I’d have thought 5-6 games was sufficient?
      Absurd claim that he’s never gone out to hurt anyone though. Who did he head-butt when at the Mariners?

      He’s a decent goalscorer who works hard, but he has a hair trigger temper and thus is unreliable. I’d try and get rid of him if I was Jets management.

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