herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Darren O'Dea: I'm open to another stint playing abroad

Darren O'Dea
Darren O'Dea

IRELAND defender Darren O’Dea is likely to indulge his wanderlust yet again and head off for another adventure at the end of the English club season.

The 28-year-old has been playing for Blackpool, but their immediate future is now clear as their relegation from the Championship was confirmed earlier this week.

With the entire squad out of contract next month, their future plans are unclear but while O’Dea says he’s happy at the club under boss Lee Clark, insisting that, if the current squad and manager had been in place from the start of the season, relegation would not have been an issue, he accepts that another move is likely.

O’Dea has chalked up some air miles since leaving Celtic in 2012, playing for clubs in Toronto and Donetsk, and the fact that he’s a player who is open to playing outside of the UK means that foreign clubs are keen.

“I have spoken to teams abroad and now I need to decide what’s best.

“I am 28 now and I need to make the right decision, whether to stay in Britain or move on. I see players who have been at the one club in England all their careers and that’s not for me,” O’Dea told The Herald.

“Whatever happens I won’t just sign for any team, I won’t go to a club to pick up a wage. I won’t go through the motions, I feel I am in my prime now and I want to have a good spell.

“I want to be in a team where it’s exciting and where it means a lot to people, and that could be in England.

“I have had offers already. I get offers from crazy places, like Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, though you never really know how real the interest is.

“I won’t rule anything out but there’s been interest from clubs in Greece, Germany and Switzerland.

“If you have gone abroad once, it seems like the floodgates open and people think you’re a player who’s keen to go anywhere, while a lot of players just spend their whole careers in the UK,” added O’Dea, still smarting from his side being demoted. 

“Relegation is hard to take, this is the first time I’ve been relegated in my career. The players can deal with it in our own way but we feel for the people around the club, the fans and the people who work here, as this is their club and it will really hurt them, so as players we feel sorry we have gone down so early.”

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