Former Celtic man O’Dea doesn’t miss ‘intense city’

Celtic V Rangers Reserves

The Republic of Ireland international is glad to be away from Glasgow

While some players embrace the passion and intensity of football fans from the twin giants of Celtic and Rangers, former Hoops defender Darren O’Dea recently admitted he misses nothing about life in Glasgow.

The 26-year-old came up through the ranks at Celtic park, making 49 appearances from 2006 to 2012 before departing for Toronto FC and the MLS.

During that time the Republic of Ireland defender spent time on loan at Reading, IpswichTown and Leeds United, but it was while playing for the Bhoys that he first got a real insight into the obsession that surrounds Glasgow’s two teams.

And it was a passion that quickly became too much for the player to bear.

Speaking to the National Post O’Dea, who now plies his trade with Ukrainian league side Metalurh Donetsk, explained some of the discomfort he felt while with the club.

“You go out for a meal at night with your wife, you could be getting shouted at going into a restaurant,” he told reporters.

“Everyone knows you in Glasgow and everyone’s looking at you. But you don’t know whether the person looking at you loves you because you’re Celtic or hates you because they’re Rangers. It’s an intense city.”

The defender spent a season in the US before moving to the Ukraine, where he now hopes that an extended run in the first team will see him cement a place as one of the Republic’s key defenders.

Unfortunately he will not be making any impact on the continental stage, with the Donetsk club eliminated in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

This latest development marks a positive end to the story of a defender who struggled to establish himself at Parkhead, despite some positive early performances.

It has echoes of the scenario currently being played out by Tony Watt, with the youngster currently out on loan after failing to maintain the match-winning form seen in his initial appearances for Celtic.

image: © Tom Brogan

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