After recently being axed from Neil Warnock's plans, Darren O'Dea has spoken out for the first time.
O'Dea or 'O'Dear' as some Leeds fans called him after our opening fixture and subsequent games after, spent the year at Leeds on loan from Celtic.
The Irishman, who looks set to be in the Irish squad for the Euros, had a turbulent season at the heart of the Whites defence. Just a few weeks ago, O'Dea was part of Warnock's plans after the manager revealed the defender was set for talks about signing a deal over the summer. However, in a quick turn of events, Warnock opted against keeping O'Dea and told him he wasn't needed for the final two league games.
Despite the quick change in career plans, O'Dea told the Sun newspaper he was relaxed about his future.
"Obviously things have come out in the media that I had my heart set on Leeds, but they were just one of my options. Neil Warnock rang my agent Kevin Moran and asked would I like to go to Leeds. He said I would because I'd had a very good season there, I played every game I was available for.
Internationally, I played a lot of games and won Young Player of the Year which was a big honour, we'd qualified for the Euros and I felt confident.
They offered me a contract but two weeks later they came back and said they were going in a different direction. It's disappointing obviously, but after the season I had I think I'll have plenty more options. There's not going to be any clubs signing players now anyway and it's an exciting time for me.
I had six different partners at the back. There were times when the average age of other players in the back four was 20. I certainly improved this season."
'A very good season'??? Really Darren...not from our point of view. Don't get me wrong, O'Dea and Lees are probably the best two centre backs we had, with Bruce pushing them for a start. But in all fairness he was the pick of a bad bunch who most are glad to see the back of.
I agree playing games is a key factor in being noticed. However, you really have to play well to get noticed. I'd expect O'Dea to get another move to the Championship. For me he's a good League One player and a potentially decent/good Championship player.
Despite this he is correct he did improve over the course of the season, but he couldn't have got any worse after the Southampton game. All in all, a decent player for us. He did try hard for us no matter what people think of his ability.
Good luck in the Euros Darren, thanks for your service...I think.