O'Dea looks to impress at Euros after Celtic cut ties
DARREN O'DEA will be a free agent at Euro 2012 after Celtic agreed to terminate his contract rather than exercise an option to keep him on for another year and demand a transfer fee.
The Dubliner is extremely grateful to the club he joined as a teenager, as it will make it easier to find new employment this summer.
O'Dea spent last season on loan at Leeds, and had previous spells away at Reading and Ipswich. It was obvious that his future lay elsewhere, and it's likely that he will target a permanent move to the Championship -- unless Euro 2012 opens up doors.
"I'm very happy," said O'Dea. "I spoke to Peter Lawwell (Celtic chief executive) and fair play to him. I've been leaving for long enough and it was about time it was official.
"Fair play to Peter for cutting ties. It lets me get on with my career; this has been happening for the last two and a half years anyway.
"I've had a great time at Celtic and have a lot of friends there so it was important for me that I left properly. He's done that and given me the chance to do that, so I've nothing but admiration for the club and I wish them all the best."
While O'Dea is delighted with his own personal situation, he also expressed his sympathy for his good friend Kevin Foley, whose international future is in doubt after he was dropped from the Ireland squad in controversial circumstances on Tuesday.
"Kevin has been a big part of the squad, and he's a good friend of mine," said O'Dea, "but in football, sometimes things happen that aren't nice and I think we all just have to get on with it now. What I said to Kevin is between me and him, and what he said to the manager is between those two.
"It's not really my place to comment, but certainly I was very disappointed for him."
O'Dea (25) missed training earlier this week with a thigh problem, but says it was just a precaution as his body recovered from last Saturday's win over Bosnia.