No Hartlepool United return for Roy O’Donovan

Roy O'Donovan celebrates after scoring Pools only goal against Walsall.
Roy O'Donovan celebrates after scoring Pools only goal against Walsall.
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FORMER Hartlepool United favourite Roy O’Donovan will not be rejoining the club this month.

There has been talk that the former Sunderland striker, now at Coventry, could return to Victoria Park, where he scored nine goals from 15 appearances last season.

But Coventry City will only allow the 25-year-old to leave the Ricoh Arena on a permanent deal, ruling Pools out of the equation.

A Sky Blues source said: “Coventry expect O’Donovan to leave the club permanently during the current transfer window. They’ve had enquiries from a number of League One clubs but he won’t be going back to Hartlepool on loan.”

O’Donovan, a former Coventry trainee, re-signed for the club last summer on a free transfer from Sunderland – where he failed to find the net in 19 outings during four years on Wearside.

But first-team opportunities have been at a premium for the Cork-born frontman and he has only appeared four times for Aidy Boothroyd’s men.

The arrival of Everton’s Lukas Jutkiewicz and the signing of Marlon King, following his release from prison, saw O’Donovan slide down the pecking order before a ball had even been kicked this season.

Hartlepool asked about his availability back in October but were told that any move wouldn’t be sanctioned until the New Year.

But O’Donovan now looks set to leave City on a permanent basis and could well come up against Pools later in the season, should he move to another League One club.

Pools’ transfer trail will hit foreign shores this weekend with boss Mick Wadsworth set to jet off on a scouting mission.

The Pools chief will use the break in fixtures to run the rule over potential targets, with the loan deadline for Football League clubs not passing until March 24.

Wadsworth, whose side don’t return to action until Tuesday night at Oldham, said: “I may go abroad this weekend and watch a couple of games there.

“I’m still working on a couple of things, following up a couple of leads and that sort of thing and it’ll be a good chance this weekend to see some games.

“The way our fixtures are, it’s so difficult to get out and watch players – our scout Peter Eustace has to do that. So it’s nice when we can share it because I like to get to as many games as possible and I’m an avid watcher.

“I like to see reserve games as well and see how the younger lads are developing.”

Wadsworth has done business with both Manchester City and Newcastle United this season, James Poole arriving on loan from Eastlands earlier in the season while Magpies striker Ryan Donaldson signed a one-month deal just this week.

The Pools boss was in the stands at Hyde United’s Ewen Fields on Wednesday night as City’s second string enjoyed a 5-1 victory over Peter Beardsley’s United.

It is not thought any of the Newcastle line-up will fit the bill for Pools, with none of their young side having ever tasted senior action.

One player who could be of interest to Wadsworth, though, is City’s Donal McDermott, a 21-year-old Irish winger.

He has previously enjoyed loan spells with MK Dons, Chesterfield and Scunthorpe United and can operate on the left flank or in a more advanced forward role.

Swedish striker John Guidetti, previously on loan at Burnley, scored a hat-trick during the game.