JJ jumped at the chance to rejoin City

On loan Luton man hopes to repay Steve Castle’s faith

FLYING winger Jonathan O’Donnell says he was delighted to be given the opportunity to return to St Albans City after joining on a month’s loan from Blue Square Premier promotion chasers Luton Town.

The youngster became a popular figure at the club with some fine displays last season culminating in a move to the non-league big boys, however with first team opportunities at Kenilworth Road limited, O’Donnell jumped at the chance to come back to Clarence Park and capped his return with a goal in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Staines.

“It is good to be back,” O’Donnell told the Herts Advertiser afterwards.

“This club has done a lot for me when I was here the first time and it’s good that Steve (Castle, the City manager) had the faith to bring me back. I wanted to come back and to cap it with a goal was nice.

“Every Saturday, after Luton’s game, it’s the first result I look for beyond any, it’s a club that’s done a lot for me in my short career and if it wasn’t for Steve and St Albans I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“I’ll give it 100 per cent and I know it’s an uphill task but hopefully I can bring something to the team and help them get out of the situation we’re in.”

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O’Donnell’s goal in Saturday’s victory was an acrobatic overhead effort that snuck inside the post but the midfielder says he was just delighted to see the ball go in.

“I’d like to say I caught it cleanly but I’d be lying!” he said.

“It just popped down off Dom’s head and instinct helped me and I got it over my head and in the corner and it’s squirmed in.”

The former Watford trainee says he has enjoyed his time with Luton so far and is hoping his current stay with City can help him force his way into the Hatters’ side on his return to Kenilworth Road.

“It’s been difficult this year for me at Luton,” explained O’Donnell.

“I understand why the gaffer at Luton has put me out here to get games.

“I love it at Luton. The gaffer helps us all the time and they’re all brilliant to us. It’s hard in the Blue Square Premier, especially as Luton aren’t a Blue Square team and they want to get back into the League, they need experienced lads playing and I totally understand why I’m here. I’ll just do everything I can to get in the team when I get back to Luton.

“To be playing games and at a club I want to be at is the main thing. I think I’ve got eight games while I’m on loan here so hopefully I can help the club get out of the bottom three and stay up.”

Next up for O’Donnell and his City teammates is tonight’s (Tuesday) long trip south to Dorchester and the 19-year-old is hoping to help the Saints make it back-to-back wins.

He said: “I thought the lads were brilliant today (against Staines).”

“It was hard because the pitch was bobbly but now we’ve got a long old trip down to Dorchester. I’ve been there last season, although I didn’t play, and I know it’s a good ground with nice facilities and hopefully we can go on from here and get another three points.”