Date of birth
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland international Darren O’Dea began his career at Celtic, signing for the club as a teenager.
He made his way through their Academy and reserve sides to make his debut in the first team in September 2006 – a Scottish League Cup game against St. Mirren.
That season he played 21 games for Celtic, picking up an SPL winners medal and an appearance in the UEFA Champions League Last 16 tie against AC Millan at the San Siro.
He added to his trophy cabinet the following year with another SPL medal and then a Scottish League Cup medal the year afterwards.
Towards the start of the 2009/10 campaign, in September O’Dea completed a loan move to Reading under our then manager Brenden Rodgers.
He made his debut for the Royals at Madejski Stadium against Doncaster Rovers, and went on to make 7(+1) appearances for the club up until his loan expired on 1st January.
He ended the season with his parent club before again moving out on loan the following year with Ipswich.
After 22(+3) games with the Tractor Boys, O’Dea returned to Celtic determine to make an impact within the first team setup.
Unfortunately that desire didn’t unfold for the Dublin man, and manager of Celtic at the time Neil Lennon expressed the fact that a move to Leeds United would be beneficial for O’Dea in order to obtain some regular football in a starting-eleven.
Sure enough that August he signed a season-long loan deal with the Championship club, making his debut away to Southampton five days later.
A regular as promised, he made 38 starts and scored two goals, and although he impressed with his performances, Neil Warnock announced he would not be signing the defender permanently in the summer.
O’Dea left Celtic Park in May 2012 after making 49(+21) appearances for the SPL side. He moved onto the MLS with Toronto FC and then to the Ukrainian Premier League with Metalurh Donetsk. Due to political unrest at the time in Ukraine, O’Dea transferred back to England to join struggling Blackpool on a short-term deal.
Since December, the Irishman has played 15(+2) games for the Seasiders and enjoyed the opportunity for first team football, despite the clubs relegation from the Football League Championship in early April.