Alan O'Brien (born February 20, 1985 in Dublin) is an Irish footballer who currently plays for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian and Republic of Ireland at full international level. He plays as a left-sided midfielder.
He has good ball control, and lightning-quick pace, making him a danger to any side. He is being tipped for great things in the future.
O'Brien joined Newcastle aged 16 when he was signed by youth team coach Alan Irvine from St Joseph's boys club Sallynoggin. He played in the under-17 national championship winning team, who beat Manchester United 5-2 in the final played over two legs at Old Trafford and St James' Park.
The Irishman enjoyed a loan spell at Carlisle United towards the end of 2005,and scored within 10 minutes of his debut, but the loan spell was cut short due to injury.
He made his Newcastle first team debut on 7 January 2006 in the FA Cup against Mansfield Town ans has mainly been used as a substitute when appearing in Newcastle's first team.
On Saturday 20 January 2007, Alan O'Brien made his first full league appearance for the Newcastle United first team against West Ham at St James' Park. O'Brien looked impressive and showed glimpses of his pace in the first twenty minutes. However, the Irishman faded as the game went on. He had shown his ability on both feet, showing his right foot on a powerful shot which hit the post. He played the full 90 minutes but never subsequntly made a significant impression on the first team.
On the 25 June 2007, it was announced that O'Brien had signed a three-year contract with Scottish side Hibernian. The Republic of Ireland international will join the Clydesdale Bank Premier League club on 1 July, when his contract expires. Although a compensation package for Newcastle United is still to be agreed.
He has caps for Ireland at Under-14, Under-15, Under-16 and Under-19 levels. After impressing during the pre-season of 2006 he received a call up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad for the first time to join up with fellow countrymen: Damien Duff, Stephen Carr, and Shay Given for the friendly match against Netherlands. He came on as a second half substitute to gain his first full international cap.