Darren O'Dea is a professional footballer who plays for Scottish Premier League club Celtic as a left-sided or central defender.
O'Dea made his Celtic debut in the CIS Cup against St Mirren in September 2006. He made his first League appearance two months later as a substitute against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
He made his first league starting appearance against Dunfermline Athletic in December 2006, just four days after making his Champions League debut against FC Copenhagen as a substitute, replacing the injured Stephen McManus.
He scored his first goal for Celtic against Dundee United on 26 December 2006.He followed that with a goal on 2 January 2007, against Kilmarnock.
O'Dea played an important role for Celtic in the 2006/07 season. He played more than 10 games and received an SPL winners medal. His most notable performance was in the Champions League, in the Last 16 tie against AC Milan in the San Siro. Celtic held AC Milan before Kaká scored an extra time wonder goal for Milan. After the game, the great Paolo Maldini praised the young central defender's performance. O'Dea currently has a boot deal with Gola.
Young O'Dea impressed so much during this season he was awarded a 3 year contract, with the option of a further year on 13 March 2007.
On 15th March, 2009, O'Dea scored the first goal in the Scottish League Cup final victory over Rangers with a header. His goal was scored just 90 seconds into the start of extra time. Celtic went on to beat Rangers 2-0 after extra time, with Aiden McGeady scoring the second goal in injury time at the end of the second period of extra time.
O’Dea played for the Irish under 19 and under 21 teams. He was called up to the full international squad within 12 months.
He was called up to the Irish under 21 international squad by manager Don Givens on 3 March 2007. However less than a week later he was named in the full international squad for Irelands 2008 European Qualification matches on 24 March and 28 March.
He is currently the Republic of Ireland under 21 captain.
On 13 May 2008 O'Dea was called into Giovanni Trapattoni's first squad as Ireland manager and he has since been called into the squad for the Bulgaria and Italien matches.
* Scottish Premier League 2006-07, 2007-08
* Scottish League Cup 2008-09
Son of John and Anne O'Dea, Darren's mother represented Ireland in basketball.
Darren attended St Aloysius' College, Glasgow, before attending Clonkeen College where he played alongside former Wolves youngster Aidan Lyons and played for Home Farm, based in his hometown Dublin, at schoolboy level alongside fellow Irish underage internationals Owen Garvan, Shane Supple and Chris McCann. In 2003, Darren choose to continue his career in Scotland with Celtic, ignoring the advances of Premier League sides Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Click here to see UNDER 19 RECORD
Click here to see UNDER 21 RECORD