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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Ex-Irish defender Darren O'Dea appointed manager of Celtic's U18s

He adds to the growing Irish influence among the club’s youth ranks.

Darren O'Dea (file photo).
Darren O'Dea (file photo).
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

THE IRISH INFUSION in Celtic’s youth ranks continues apace with the appointment of Darren O’Dea as the club’s U18s manager. 

Former Irish international O’Dea, who won 20 caps for Ireland and was among those unused by Giovanni Trapattoni at Euro 2012, retired from playing at the end of last season to become Motherwell’s U18 manager. 

O’Dea retired at the age of just 32, and although he felt he had more to give in his playing career, he was eager to take his first steps into coaching. 

His stint at Motherwell has been shortlived, and today he returns to a club for whom he played for four seasons, winning two league titles along with both domestic cups. 

O’Dea takes a role vacated by Stephen McManus, who is stepping up to the position of Reserve team coach. 

There is a renewed Irish influence among the club’s youth ranks at the moment. In Luca Connell, Jonathan Afolabi, and Lee O’Connor, they have this year enticed a trio of Irish underage internationals to the club, while Damien Duff has been promoted from the Reserve team staff to Neil Lennon’s first-team coaching ticket. 

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Gavin Cooney

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