Darren’s drawn to Pool challenge

Darren O'Dea
Darren O'Dea
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Darren O’Dea revealed Blackpool’s rock bottom league position was an appeal when signing for the club.

The Irish defender is the latest to sign at Bloomfield Road on a short-term deal and is hoping for international clearance in time to make his debut on tomorrow when Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City visit Bloomfield Road.

O’Dea, 27, has huge Championship experience with the likes of Leeds, Reading and Ipswich as well as making 50 appearances for Scottish giants Celtic.

And after putting pen to paper on a month-long deal, he said the appeal of turning down Pool’s position made his decision easy.

“In a strange way the league position appealed to me, it’s a good challenge here,” he said.

“It’s better than coming to a team who are midtable with nothing to play for.

“This team has a lot of new faces and new management and I think people are quietly confident they can get out of trouble.

“With the manager in place and the players who have been brought in now I think things are moving in the right direction.

“I’m delighted, it probably could have happened a couple of weeks ago but I’m delighted to get it done.

“I came down for a couple of days a few weeks ago and almost came to an agreement.

“It’s taken a big longer than I’d have liked but it’s good to get it done and dusted now and I can’t wait to get started.”

The Republic of Ireland international was most recently in Ukraine with Metalurh Donetsk, who he left in August after war broke out.

He’s been training with Celtic ever since and is desperate to get his career back on track.

He said: “I obviously had a tough year last year in the Ukraine and had to leave for obvious reasons, but it’s good to be at a good football club with good people around me.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started.

“I enjoyed my time in the Ukraine then a war kicked off and the club is now four hours away from where it used to be, it just wasn’t practical for me or my family.

“I am desperate to play football again and just be a footballer again.

“It will be good to just get on a pitch again and not need to worry about anything, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

Despite being a free agent Pool opted to make the deal for just a month with his spell at the club set to end the day after the FA Cup third round on January 4.

It’s a decision O’Dea feels suits both he and the club.

“We spoke about whether to make it until the end of the season or until January and it suited both parties,” he said.

“I’ll give everything I have while I’m here.

“At the moment we haven’t spoken about January, we will sit down then and talk.

“I’ve been away for a couple of years and I suppose it safe guards the club a little bit.”