Newcastle Jets have announced Roy O’Donovan is leaving the club after the Irishman turned down “generous” contract offers.
It brings to a close two years with the Jets, in which O’Donovan netted 20 goals in 34 games.
CEO Lawrie McKinna expressed frustration with the Irishman’s decision, saying negotiations took several twists and turns.
“We made a number of generous offers to Roy and his management,” McKinna said.
“Talks began (about re-signing) midway through the season, with serious discussions beginning about two months ago.
“As Ernie (Merrick, head coach), Joel (Griffiths, football director) and myself said from the beginning we wanted to keep Roy and did everything within reason to extend his stay in Newcastle.
“We were close on a number of occasions, but unfortunately from our perspective the goal posts continued to shift.
“It was disappointing as the club has stood by and supported him through some difficult circumstances.”
The circumstances McKinna is likely referring to is the 33-year-old’s 10-match ban, which he received for kicking out at Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas in last season’s grand final, which the Jets lost 1-0.
As a result, O’Donovan missed the opening third of the season and Newcastle could only manage a seventh-placed finish, a far-cry from their efforts last campaign.
O’Donovan has already been linked with a move to Brisbane Roar, who have already culled 14 players this post-season as new boss Robbie Fowler puts his stamp on the team.