West Ham defender Joey O'Brien admits he was a 'big Celtic fan' growing up

Upton Park

West Ham defender Joey O'Brien says he grew up supporting Celtic.

West Ham defender Joey O'Brien has told Joe.ie that he grew up supporting Celtic, and used to travel up to Scotland to watch them play despite being on the books at Bolton.

O'Brien, 29, played just 11 games for West Ham last season, mostly serving as a backup full back for Sam Allardyce at Upton Park.

With one year left on his contract in East London, O'Brien will have his work cut out in the 2015/16 season as he bids to earn a prolonged stay with the Hammers.

With pre-season training back underway as new manager Slaven Bilic taking the reins, O'Brien has spoken about the early stages of his career.

In an interview with Joe.ie, O'Brien admitted that during the early stages of his career at Bolton, he was a big Celtic fan - and even took time out to drive up to Glasgow in order to watch the Bhoys in action.

"Some players don't like watching football but I love it," O'Brien said. "I always like watching Champions League games and other Premier League matches. I was a big Celtic fan growing up and when I started playing with Bolton, I still went to a lot of games. I used to drive up after my matches on a Saturday and be back down for training," he added.

Could O'Brien ever play for Celtic?

Celtic boss Ronny Deila needs to strengthen his squad this summer, and left back is certainly one of the biggest positions of need.

Emilio Izaguirre needs competition at left back, and O'Brien - whilst being predominantly right footed - has spent most of his career on the left side of defence.

O'Brien could be an experienced option for Celtic, but Deila should be targeting a younger player to grow and develop behind Izaguirre rather than bring Irishman O'Brien to Glagow.

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