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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 09:49 GMT
O'Dea signs new deal with Celtic
Darren O'Dea
Darren O'Dea was praised for his form in the Champions League
Celtic defender Darren O'Dea has signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2010.

The 20-year-old Irishman, who made his first-team debut against St Mirren in the CIS Cup this season, has the option of a further year.

O'Dea said: "I'm delighted but I'm in no way satisfied. I want to kick on from here.

"It's a reward for the hard work I've done but I want to push on now and play in many more games for the club."

O'Dea has made 16 appearances for Gordon Strachan's side this term, scoring three league goals.

The central defender was praised for his performances in the Champions League last 16 ties against AC Milan.

"Playing in the games such as AC Milan helps you as a player, but I still have a hell of a lot of growing to do," he said.

"I learn from all the players, they are all top quality and every day in training and in every game I'm learning.

"I like the club, I have a lot of friends here and have no intention of moving anywhere else."

Celtic manager Strachan has been impressed by O'Dea's progress and predicts he can play on well into his thirties if he looks after himself.

"Centre-halves take a lot longer to learn their trade," said the Celtic boss.

"Attacking instinct is a natural flair, defending is not natural as we don't want to do that at school.

"If Darren goes about his job the right way and is professional then he can play like David Weir to 36 or Steven Pressley at 33."



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