Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa are set to sign Newcastle United Jets defender James Donachie on a loan move ahead of the upcoming season, The Bridge understands. The former Australia U-20 and U-23 international becomes the latest player from A-League to make the switch to ISL this summer.
The 27-year-old, who stands at an imposing 1.95m, had just made the switch to the Jets this year from Melbourne Victory. However, with the A-League reportedly reducing the salary cap ahead of the new season due to the financial impact of Covid-19 at large, a lot of stars from Down Under have made the move to India.
Previously we have seen players like Joel Chianese (Hyderabad FC), Brad Inman (ATK Mohun Bagan FC), Jacob Tratt, Steven Taylor (Odisha FC) move to ISL. Strikers Gary Hooper and Adam Le Fondre are also expected to complete their transfers in this window. Unlike the other moves, however, Donachie's move is only a loan deal.
The center back, who comes in with experience of playing in the AFC Champions League, began his career when he signed a youth contract at Brisbane Roar as a 17-year old in 2010. He made his professional debut in the 2011-12 season in the A-League. After spending a lengthy time with Brisbane, where he made 62 appearances, he signed for Melbourne Victory in 2016 before joining Korean club Jeonnam Dragons in 2018. He would return to Australia eventually, signing again for Melbourne.
Having missed out on Sandesh Jhingan's signing, FC Goa's immediate lookout was a central back, who would not only be capable of forming a formidable partnership with Ivan Gonzalez but also fulfil the mandatory Asian quota. Their first target was obviously Iranian World Cupper Roozbeh Cheshmi who demanded a heavy fee. Another Iranian, Hadi Mohammadi, was second on their wish list but his asking price was no less than Cheshmi's.
As a result, the club had to move their attention to A-League. Donachie comes in with a lot of experience of playing in not only Australia but also in Korea. He is versatile and can any where across the defence line. If he can adapt quickly, the Aussie will be one of the stars to look out for in the upcoming season.
Goa's foreign roaster now look complete, unless, of course, they feel the need to add a seventh foreigner. In Igor Angulo, Jorge Ortiz Mendoza, Alberto Noguera, Ivan Gonzalez, Edu Bedia and Donachie they have six capable international players and it will be interesting to see how new coach Juan Ferrando utilises their strengths through the season.