Six months on from being sent-off in the A-League final, Roy O'Donovan gets his chance to return to action this weekend.
Playing for Newcastle Jets against Melbourne Victory in May's final, the Corkman saw red for a high, flying challenge on Melbourne goalkeeper, Lawrence Thomas.
O'Donovan was subsequently handed a 10-game suspension, the second longest ever dished out by the league.
"In hindsight, maybe, I wish I hadn’t gone for that ball," O'Donovan told the Newcastle Herald as he nears his return.
But that is probably not me to let a game fizzle out. Maybe, I have to be a bit more mindful now that there are consequences when I make a challenge and when somebody else makes a challenge.
The 33-year-old former Cork City and Sunderland striker has trained hard during his time off, doing his best to resolve a groin problem from which he suffered last season.
"It has obviously been a difficult one to take. As poor as the outcome was, I never meant to do that. I couldn’t dream it up. It has gotten to the stage now where I am just looking forward to getting back on the pitch. And it's not far away.
"It is important for me not to have any bitterness and hold any grudges. All I want to do is play football, score goals and win games. That has always been my drive in life since I was a young kid. That hasn’t changed.
"The lads here will tell you, I’m a good person, a good teammate and a good person to be around. The perception outside of this perimeter is maybe something different. I can’t change other people’s minds. I can only play my game and be who I am. I will continue doing that."