ROY O'Donovan had rarely spent more than two years in one place when he decided to try his luck Down Under.
But from the moment the Irishman touched down, he knew Australia was home.
That was five and a half years ago. Since then, his son, Alfie, has come into the world, and the feisty frontman has forged a reputation as one of the A-League's most passionate and productive goal poachers.
The majority of his stay has been in Newcastle, leading the line for the Jets.
On Tuesday, O'Donovan and wife, Ellen, will become dinky-di Aussies at a citizenship ceremony via zoom.
"My history as a player was two years in one place before I wanted a new challenge," O'Donovan said. "We never looked too far past two seasons. As soon as we came here, we loved the place, loved the football. The sun was shining every day. The opportunities in Australia - it is a very forward thinking, positive county - are endless. There is so much opportunity for young people to progress. Within the first few months myself and Ellen made the decision there was nowhere like this place.
"We are blessed to have the opportunity to call this place home. Now we have the passport to back it up."
O'Donovan's citizenship comes hot on the heels of his 50th goal in the A-League - drilling the match-winner in a break through 2-1 triumph over Wellington in Wollongong on Sunday.
"There are a few milestone this week. It was 50 goals on Sunday, Australian citizenship on Thursday and Alfie starts school next Monday,"O'Donovan said.
Citizenship also means that O'Donovan is no longer classed as one of five imports each club is permitted to sign.
At 35, the former Premier League striker is closer to the end than the start of his career, but believes there is enough running in his legs for at least a "couple more years".
"I want to play the best I can for as long as possible," the off-contract O'Donovan said.
"Hopefully it is in Newcastle. "
Although proud to reach the 50 goals milestone - in just 108 games - O'Donovan has unfinished business.
"I'm very ambitious, very driven," said O'Donovan, who has also had stints at the Mariners and Roar.
"I would like the opportunity to win some silverware before it is all said and done. We were hard done by a couple of years ago [losing the grand final to Victory after a controversial VAR decision].
"The good thing right now is that the club is stable. There are some great young prospects learning their craft in the A-League.
"We also need to keep the good people in and around the club. Historically with Newcastle we have lost a lot of good people when there have been changes. I think it is important to keep the fabric and the culture of the club while freshening things up as you move forward."
Next for the Jets is a trip to Western Sydney to tackle Wanderers on Friday night.
"It is certainly a game that the fans would like us to win," O'Donovan said.
"We needed to get that notch on the board, the first three points. I was delighted to get on the scoresheet myself and most importantly we are off the mark."
"That will take some pressure moving forward. We know we are capable of winning games. But we are young side as well and need to learn the lessons quick because first-team football is unforgiving.
"Hopefully we can kick on now. We can play our football and win games the way we want to.
"Wanderers have been playing some good football ... I really think we have the ability to cause them trouble and win the game if we do things right."
On joining the Jets from the Mariners for the 2017-18 season, O'Donovan bought a family home in Fletcher.
"When I bought the house here I had enjoyed my spell in Newcastle and wanted to make it home," O'Donovan said. "I wasn't expecting to go to Brisbane last year because of financial problems at the club which everybody is well aware of now.
"We are very blessed to live in Newcastle. It really does feel like home. We love the people.They are very similar to Irish people. The same sense of humour. The weather here is slightly better. It feels like home and hopefully it is for a lot longer."
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