Ex-Ireland defender retires from professional football

Ex-Ireland defender retires from professional football

Former Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea has announced his retirement from professional football.

O'Dea earned 20 caps for Ireland between 2009 and 2013.

During his professional career, O'Dea played for clubs all over the world including Celtic, Toronto FC, Ukraine's Metalurh Donetsk, Blackpool and Mumbai City.

He signed with Dundee in 2016 and was named captain in 2017.

The 32-year-old made the announcement on Twitter this afternoon.

"It's been a difficult decision as I feel I have plenty left in the tank but my passion in life is now in another part of football - coaching," said O'Dea.

"My path in coaching started 4 years ago and I've become obsessed with it. It's a career I can't wait to begin."

Among those he thanked in his announcement was the late Tommy Burns.

The man signed me at Celtic and started the whole dream off.

"He might have left us in body but he's never left in spirit.

"I thought about him every day as a player and you can guarantee he'll be on my mind every day as a coach."

He signed off saying: "It's been a dream I've fulfilled and now I'm onto trying to live my next dream. It's been a pleasure."

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