Goal takes a look at the career of experienced Asian campaigner…
James Donachie has joined FC Goa on-loan from A-League outfit Newcastle Jets for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL) and AFC Champions League.
The Australian, standing at 6 feet and 5 inches, is adept at countering the aerial threat in the backline and will be an asset during offensive set-pieces. Donachie also holds a vast array of experience of playing in the AFC Champions League over multiple seasons with different clubs as well.
He is a three-time A-League champion with two of his triumphs coming in the colours of Brisbane Roar in the 2011/12 and 2013/14 seasons before winning the title again as a part of Melbourne Victory in the 2017/18 campaign.
Goal takes a look at the 27-year-old’s illustrious career so far.
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Donachie is a product of the Brisbane Roar’s youth programme. He played junior football in Queensland and was awarded Australia’s Youth League Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The central defender started off his semi-professional career with Rochedale Rovers while holding a youth contract with Brisbane Roar before joining the latter’s senior side in 2012. In the very first season with Roar, he tasted silverware as his side overcame Central Coast Mariners in dramatic fashion to clinch the title.
The Queensland native made his first big move in 2016 when he signed for Melbourne Victory. After a few injury struggles, in the 2017-18 season, he became a crucial part of the club’s defensive line to eventually play 15 league matches that year. He also started Victory’s 1-0 grand final win over Newcastle Jets.
He was with Victory till the end of last season except for a short six-month spell with the erstwhile K-League side Jeonnam Dragons in 2018 where Donachie replaced fellow Australian defender Tomislav Mrcela. With the Korean side relegated to the K-League 2, even though Jeonnam were keen to retain his services, Donachie moved back to Melbourne on loan later in January 2019.
It is also a known fact that, at the age of 25, Donachie had his eyes on a move to Europe but eventually made his Victory move permanent.
Before returning to AAMI Park for a second spell, Donachie had amassed 47 appearances in all competitions over two seasons (2016-17 and 2017-18) and later became a key figure in the Victory defence to be awarded the club’s Players’ Player of the Season award for his performances in 2019-20. He had signed on a three-year deal with Newcastle Jets earlier this year before joining Goa on loan.
AFC Champions League & International Career
The Australian was named in the Young Socceroos squad for the AFC U-22 Qualifiers two years after he signed a youth contract with Brisbane Roar in 2010. He has represented his country’s U-20 and U-23 national teams U-20 World Cup and AFC U-23 Asian Cup competitions respectively.
With FC Goa becoming the first Indian club to make it to the group stage of the AFC Champions League on account of winning the 2019-20 ISL League Winners’ Shield, Donachie will play a fourth consecutive in the AFC Champions League. He has played in the Asian competition over five different editions including the last three seasons – all with Melbourne Victory – other than two seasons with Brisbane Roar previously.
In the 2019-20 A-League, he made 25 appearances for Victory.