O’Donoghue returns to the Dragons den after top year with Glenanne

©: Frank Uijlenbroek

Shane O’Donoghue will return to KHC Dragons from Glenanne this summer after a superb season in Dublin, captaining his boyhood club to the EY Hockey League regular season crown.

But, with the World Cup on the horizon and assistance in developing his working life, the offer to return to a professional contract with the club he won two Belgian titles with was one that was too good to turn down.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make to be honest and one which was made with a heavy heart when you consider the year we [Glenanne] had winning the EY league title,” he told The Hook but does reckon he has left the club in good shape to challenge again.

“It was my first full season back at my boyhood club and I thoroughly enjoyed last season, playing with close mates.”

O’Donoghue confirmed he had been in discussions with a number of clubs from Belgium as well as some from the Netherlands and Germany but Dragons came with a “complete offer”.

“Dragons managed to find internships with a global psychology company called Mentally Fit and hopefully some work with the Antwerp Giants basketball team so that, in essence, made my decision for me.

“It was a litle different to when I first joined Dragons in 2014, I had just finished my under graduate studies in UCD and I just wanted to play professional hockey for a couple years and improve my game two years out from Rio. Now, I am slightly more career focused.

“The side has changed a lot with some close friends and top international players like Loic and Arthur Van Doren moving on to new challenges in Holland. It will be a challenge for sure but one which I will relish and give my all.

“They have signed some top international players in Tobias Walter and of course Kirky [Shimmins]! With the World Cup scheduled at a rather awkward time of the season, the first half of the league in Belgium finishes at the end of October which fits in nicely with our final preparation before departure to India.”