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Fullname: Darren O'Dea
Height: 6.01 (185cm)
Born: 4 Feb 1987
Signed: 1 Aug 2005
Left: 1 June 2012 (free)
Position: Defender, Central Defender, Left-back
Debut: Celtic v St. Mirren, League Cup, 19 September 2006
International Caps: 2 (9 U21) [to be completed at end of his career]
International Goals: 0 [to be completed at end of his career]
Squad no.: 48
Dublin-born defender Darren O'Dea joined Celtic in 2003 after trials with Premiership sides Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool.
He rose through the Youth and Reserve side playing predominantly as a left back or left sided centre half. Along with a number of youth team players he was invited on the club’s pre-season tour in the USA at the start of 04/05 before returning to the Reserve squad.
Darren O’Dea was an old school centre-half. Tall strong and commanding, he had the confidence to go into a tackle or challenge with no fear and take chances. Not the best on the ball but then again that has never stopped the bulk of centre-halves from performing their roles.
He made his full first team debut in the League Cup game against St Mirren in September 2006 and after some fine performances, he finished the season as a first team player in his own right winning a new contract on better terms. However, he started the following season (2007/08) on the bench without ever looking like getting a start but for Gary Caldwell's injury, he came on against Inverness CT in the League, and as a sub against Copenhagen before making a full game against Dunfermline. Possibly, one of his proudest moments was to play for Celtic against AC Milan away in the Champions League KO phase. Sadly, we lost 1-0 but despite his youth, Darren O'Dea gave a good account of himself, and taking in the opposition (which included the majestic Kaka), he did very well (the match went for 120mins).
A regular for the FAI youth sides, he was highly regarded enough to captain the FAI U21's in September 2007.
Season 2008/09 saw Darren established as a first-team squad regular although again mostly he was frustratingly on the bench. There was a good section of the support who felt he deserved more opportunities, rating him highly against the central defenders we already had (like Caldwell or Loovens). Darren, despite his young age, was never frightened to tell his colleagues what to do, a good attribute for a central defender to learn to control the zone.
His moment of glory was to come. In March 2009 he was in the starting line-up for the League Cup (CIS) final against Rangers, as ever a must win match. Into extra-time, and nothing much was happening. Then Darren scored a cracking opening goal which put the support into raptures. It was his first goal in two years - as the Celts went on to win 2-0! Darren was the toast of the east end of Glasgow. A further goal against Falkirk in the league a few weeks later in the league boosted his profile.
The support felt he had a good future ahead of him. Many thought he was good enough to be a regular starter, but the coaching staff never did.
It was to be frustrating for O’Dea, and in the summer of 2009 he was linked to a move away from Parkhead but the player remained keen to establish a starting berth under the regime of new Parkhead boss Tony Mowbray. The incoming manager made Darren Celtic captain for the final game of the Wembley Cup against Tottenham and the Irishman was the Man of the Match and duly lifted the trophy for The Hoops. So he made history as the first Celtic captain to lift a trophy at the home of English football. A nice touch he much deserved.
Sadly, as season 2009/10 got underway Darren was back on the bench. Mowbray however stressed that Darren did have a long-term future at Parkhead and on 31st August the Dubliner signed a new three year contract which would keep him in Glasgow until 2012. Mowbray as a manager was hapless, and at the same time loaned Darren out to Reading for the first half of the 2009-10 season. A further loan was agreed for the 2010/11 season, this time with Ipswich Town. With the way the season turned out with Mowbray at the helm, possibly O'Dea would have been a positive addition if we'd kept him.
If anything, moving away should have given Darren the opportunity for more first team games and experience to prove any doubters wrong, but it wasn’t to be. He struggled to make a name for himself and reports were very mixed, tipping on the negative side. He did manage many games but it wasn't working out.
O'Dea returned to Celtic in summer 2011 but during the pre-season matches ahead of the 2010/11 season it was apparent that he was behind Kelvin Wilson, Loovens, Majstorovic, Rogne and Mulgrew for a place in central defence, one or two of whom were above O’Dea due to transfer fee size alone rather than ability. A further loan was announced on 3rd August 2011, this time taking him to Leeds United for the 2011/12 season but it failed and he returned at the end of the season.
Despite woes at club level, Darren won his first full international cap in Ireland's 1-0 friendly win over South Africa in Limerick on September 8th 2009. O'Dea would become a regular member Giovanni Trappatoni's Ireland squads, winning several more caps to add to that first against South Africa in Limerick, and became a regular in the Irish national side's squad.
In June 2012, Darren O’Dea was given a free transfer. It wasn’t to be for him at Celtic. This was balanced up by that he had made it into the Ireland squad for the Euro Championships in Poland/Ukraine.
Many felt that we had lost something with Darren. He was another one who shone brightly in his early days to fade out over time, never matching that hoped for potential.
It is possible that part of the problem was that Celtic was more of a footballing side than Darren had the ability for, whilst on the other hand for the Irish national squad he was doing well as under their Italian manager they were playing some dour defensive long ball play. This was a possible reason but harsh. At Leeds, they do not play like Brazilians and he’d struggled there (with a bad disciplinary record not helping out).
We respect Darren O’Dea and believed much in him. Sadly no more, and we wish him the very best.
He was leaving on a good note as he was quoted saying:
"Celtic have given me everything, & I don't mean in football, I mean in life. I was taught by the very best in Tommy Burns".
We’ll always remember him for that wonderful header goal to win us the league cup.
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
|CLUB||FROM||TO||FEE||LEAGUE||Scottish/FA CUP||LGE CUP||OTHER|
|Leeds||01-Aug-11||01-May-12||Loan||35 (0)||2||1 (0)||0||2 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Ipswich||18-Aug-10||31-May-11||Loan||17 (3)||0||1 (0)||0||4 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Reading||01-Sep-09||13-Dec-09||Loan||7 (1)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0||0 (0)||0|
|Celtic||01-Aug-05||01-Jun-12||Trainee||35 (14)||4||8 (2)||1||3 (0)||1||3 (5)||0|
Honours with Celtic
Scottish Premier League
Options open for O'Dea as Celtic let him go
The Irish Times - Friday, June 1, 2012
Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea has been released by Celtic and is free to find another club for next season.Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea has been released by Celtic and is free to find another club for next season.
EMMET MALONE in Montecatini
DARREN O’DEA has been released by Celtic, paving the way for the Republic of Ireland defender to move to another club on a free transfer, something that should greatly increase his options over the summer months.
The Dubliner’s current deal with the SPL champions was only due to run until the end of the season just finished but the club did have the option of extending by a year, something that would commonly be done even if the player didn’t feature in the manager’s plans in order to oblige rivals to pay a fee.
O’Dea acknowledged last week that the Scots would be entitled to seek to recoup some of the money they had spent on developing him as a player but he expressed the hope they might still allow him to simply walk away, something that would improve both his choices and, most likely, improve the personal terms he would be able to negotiate. Yesterday he confirmed he had received the news he had been hoping for.
“Yeah, I won’t be at Celtic,” he said. “I’m leaving Celtic on a free transfer. I’m very happy. I spoke to Peter Lawwell and fair play to him, I’ve been leaving long enough and it was about time it was official.
“It was playing on my mind but fair play to Peter for cutting ties. It lets me get on with my career. It’s been happening for the last two and a half years anyway.”
The 25-year-old signed for Celtic from Home Farm seven years ago and initially made swift progress, breaking into the first team in late 2006 and then impressing in both the league and Champions League over the course of the next season and a half.
Somehow, though, he never progressed to the stage where he was an automatic first choice and despite captaining the team at times, he was loaned out in recent years for spells to Reading, Ipswich Town and most recently Leeds United.
After Neil Warnock made it clear that he wasn’t in his plans for the Elland Road outfit O’Dea faced the prospect of having to head back to Glasgow for pre-season while attempting to secure an alternative employer. Instead, he leaves, he says, on the best of terms.
“I’ve had a great time at Celtic and have a lot of friends there so it was important for me that I left properly. He’s done that and given me the chance to do that so I’ve nothing but admiration for the club and I wish them all the best.”
GS: Games Started, SB: Used as Substitute,
G: Goals, A: Assists, SH: Shots, SG: Shots on goal,
YC: Yellow Cards, RC: Red Cards, FC: Fouls Committed, FS: Fouls Suffered,
SV: Saves, OF: Offsides,
W: Wins, D: Draws, L: Losses
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, Jun 20 2012, 3:49 AM EDT
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