FC Goa have signed James Donachie on a season-long loan deal that will last till the end of the 2020-21 Indian Super League season.
The Gaurs announced their ninth signing ahead of the upcoming campaign on their social media handles on Saturday. Their Twitter handle has been teasing fans of the signing since Friday morning.
The 27-year old defender started his professional career with the A-League club Brisbane Roar and made 62 league appearances for them before moving to rivals Melbourne Victory.
After a couple of seasons at the Melbourne-based club, Donachie moved to South Korean club Jeonnam Dragons but returned to Melbourne on a loan deal after the Dragons were relegated to the second division.
The centre-back re-signed for Melbourne Victory and after spending another season there, signed for Newcastle Jets, who will be loaning the defender to FC Goa.
When one considers the AFC Champions League, Donachie is a perfect signing for FC Goa as he has been a part of five different AFC Champions League campaigns with two different clubs.
James Donachie expressed his delight at the move, telling FC Goa's official website:
"I am thrilled to be coming to Goa and India. This should be a great opportunity and challenge for me. I will be playing for a club that’s not only looking to challenge for the title but will also be playing at the highest level in Asia – the AFC Champions League. I feel this move comes at the right time for me. I can’t wait to set sail to India and get on to the ground."
James Donachie is exactly the kind of profile we wanted to bring to the club: FC Goa’s Director of Football
James Donachie is 1.93 meters tall and is being touted as a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing Mourtada Fall. The Australian centre-back is good with the ball at his feet and can initiate attacks from the back.
Speaking of James Donachie, FC Goa’s Director of Football, Ravi Puskur said:
"James Donachie is exactly the kind of profile we wanted to bring to FC Goa this year, both for our ISL and AFC Champions League campaigns. He’s entering the peak of his career, and has already won titles at the domestic level, played at a very high level in Korea and is an experienced campaigner at the continental stage.
“He’s coming off a campaign where he was voted the player of the year by his peers. His playing qualities will also suit our football perfectly. He’s an assured presence on the ball and his aerial ability and strength will give us an added edge.
“We feel he’ll be an ideal foil for the current Center Backs we have within the squad and I’m sure he’ll slot seamlessly into our backline.”
With the AFC Champions League's 3+1 foreigner rule that mandates the inclusion of an Asian player or a player from a country affiliated with AFC like Australia, James Donachie is a key signing for FC Goa as all their other foreign players are of Spanish descent.