Darren O’Dea has today announced he will retire from playing full time football at the end of the season.
The defender joined Dundee in January 2016. He made his 100th appearance for the club in Saturday’s match against Hamilton Accies.
He made his debut for the club in a 4-2 win over Partick Thistle. In his second season with the club he scored five goals, his first coming in the Betfred Cup against Dumbarton.
During his time at Dens, Darren helped with coaching the younger age groups while also holding the position of captain at the club. He posted a message on social media earlier today indication that coaching is the next step for him.
We would like to wish Darren well for what the future brings.
Darren’s message on social media –
I’ve decided to retire from full time football at the end of the season. 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. 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.
I look back on my career with such pride. From growing up at Home Farm in Dublin to fulfilling a dream to play and win leagues and cups at Celtic. And then the biggest honour of my career in playing for my country, Ireland. In between I’ve had the honour of playing for Reading, Ipswich, Leeds, Toronto, Metalurg Donetsk, Blackpool, Mumbai and Dundee. But what I have the most pride in is the people I got to work with. I can honestly say that’s been the best part. The people. From kitmen/kitwomen, office staff, grounds men, physios, kitchen staff, Ive always shared close relationships with so many people at every club. I’ve also worked under fantastic managers who I was probably testing for at times but I learned so much and owe so much to them all.
But the best bit has been the players. I’ve been so fortunate to share many different dressing rooms with fantastic characters. A lot of whom are still close friends. They made my “job” better. I can honestly say I look back on my career and think I really enjoyed it.
My career has been spent over 3 continents and 6 different countries so I want to thank my wife Melissa and daughters Lucia and Milana. Milana has just come into our lives but I’ve treked Melissa and Lucia around the world and without their support and love it would have been impossible.
One special person I want to mention is 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.
Last but certainly not least I want to thank the supporters of each club I played at. Some thought I was good others maybe rubbish but I’m pretty sure every supporter that watched me would say I gave 100% every time I played. That’s enough for me.
It’s been a dream I’ve fulfilled and now I’m onto trying to live my next dream. It’s been a pleasure.