Tuesday 16 July 2019

O'Dea hoping strong Euros showing can earn club deal

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DARREN O'DEA is waiting to see if the European Championships can open any doors before making a firm decision on his club future.

The defender is leaving Celtic and received a setback when Leeds boss Neil Warnock opted against signing him on a permanent basis after a loan spell with the Championship club.

Warnock had rung O'Dea's agent, ex-Irish international Kevin Moran, about moving full-time in the summer, but a fortnight later they withdrew that offer. They terminated the arrangement before the end of the season.

"I think they're looking for maybe an older head," said O'Dea, who speaks highly of Warnock even though the manager did criticise some of his displays.

"He speaks his mind, but I had six different partners at the back. People will say the defensive record wasn't great but we never had a settled back four."


The Dubliner is keen to stress that he had other irons in the fire. Now, he wants to see what Poland can do for him.

"You never know what might happen from the European Championships. It could open up anything," added the 25-year-old.

"Hopefully something will happen sooner rather than later but if Leeds had wanted me to sign I don't know whether I would have done it because I'd have wanted to look at my other options."

Meanwhile, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara has declared for Ireland and will be called up to Noel King's U-21 squad for the European Championship qualifier with Italy next month.

Meara (21) qualifies through his grandparents. The 6ft 4in netminder has broken through to the Red Bulls' first team this season, making eight starts.

"We've been following him for a couple of months and then when he started their season as No 1, that was a big statement," said King. "He's a big lad with good hands and he's a strong kicker.

"He's coming over for the games at the end of the month - we play Denmark in a friendly before the Italy match -- and we'll have a good look at him then."

Meara, who hails from Yonkers, will come face to face with Ireland captain Robbie Keane this weekend when the Red Bulls take on LA Galaxy.

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