A-League: Jets remain keen on Roy O'Donovan but other talks on hold until new coach appointed

IN DEMAND: Chief executive Lawrie McKinna is confident of signing Roy O'Donovan despite the Jets being without a coach after Mark Jones' exit. Picture: Getty Images

IN DEMAND: Chief executive Lawrie McKinna is confident of signing Roy O'Donovan despite the Jets being without a coach after Mark Jones' exit. Picture: Getty Images

A DECISION on the future of 10 off-contract players at the Jets has been put on hold but negotiations with Central Coast striker Roy O’Donovan are continuing.

Mariners coach Paul Okon confirmed on Saturday that the Irishman, who scored 11 goals this campaign, would be departing Gosford.

“We wish Roy well. He’s been great value for us,” Okon said. “He’s a goalscorer and whichever team has him next season will be very lucky.”

The Jets are the front runners to secure the 31-year-old but Western Sydney are also understood to have tabled an offer. Brisbane had also been in talks but balked at the wage demands.

Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna was confident that the sacking of coach Mark Jones on Sunday would not impact on negotiations and remains confident of signing the fiery front man.

“I spoke to the boy and explained what happened re Mark Jones,” McKinna said. 

The Jets have already added Daniel Georgievski, Kosta Petratos and Mario Shabow to the roster for next season.

They have also been in talks with several other Australian-based players, but McKinna said those discussions would cease until a new coach is appointed.

“With Roy the talks were in an advanced stage,” McKinna said. “Discussions with other players are on hold. The new coach has to sign the players.”

Imports Mateo Poljak, Ma Leilei and Morten Nordstrand head a list of 10 players off contract including Andrew Hoole, Daniel Mullen, Ben Kantarovski, Labinot Haliti, Kristian Brymora, Joel Allwright  and Harry Sawyer.

“Those boys are contracted until the end of May,” McKinna said.

“They will just need to wait. For those boys it’s not ideal but that is football. I will address the players before training on Wednesday and along with Clayton Zane do their individual reviews next week.”

Nordstrand confirmed on instagram after Saturday’s season-ending 2-0 loss to Sydney that he was returning to Denmark.

“Not the end to my Australian experience I was hoping for!” Nordstrand said.

“But I would like to thank everyone who crossed my path for the last 18 months, it has been a great experience for me and my family!”

McKinna said as soon as Jones’ departure was announced “phone calls and texts and emails started coming in straight away”.

“Some of the ones who have come in were not on the radar previously,” he said. 

“We are not going to dwell on it. Myself and [football operations manager] Joel Griffiths will compile a list and conduct interviews.

“I will have a video hook up with owner Martin Lee this week and once we have narrowed down a list involve him again.”

Jones and predecessor Scott Miller have been sacked in the 10 months since Lee took control and McKinna admitted he was feeling the heat to get the right coach this time around.

“There is pressure on me big time.”