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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007, 13:17 GMT
Dunfermline take Celtic's O'Brien
Celtic reserve striker Jim O'Brien
O'Brien has been scoring regularly with Celtic's reserves
Dunfermline have signed Celtic forward Jim O'Brien on loan until the end of the season.

And the 19-year-old Republic of Ireland youth international could make his East End Park debut against Rangers in Sunday's Scottish Cup meeting.

"He's the top scorer in Celtic's reserves and he can play in a few positions," said Dunfermline manager Stephen Kenny.

Meanwhile, striker Noel Whelan has agreed to terminate his Pars contract.

The former Coventry, Middlesbrough, Leeds and Aberdeen forward lasted just four minutes of his debut in July and has not been able to recover from injury.

Kenny has been linked with moves for Shelbourne winger Bobby Ryan and Bohemians striker Stephen Ward but hopes O'Brien can help end Dunfermline's run of five matches without a goal.

"He's a good prospect and he'll be in the picture for Sunday," Kenny added.

"Again, we seem to have quite a few injuries. It's re-occurring, which is ridiculous really, it shouldn't be happening.

"So I've got to add a few players to make us a little bit stronger. We hope to add another couple if we can, but not in the next couple of days."

Celtic reserve coach Kenny McDowall is backing O'Brien to do well for the Fife club.

"This is a great opportunity for Jim and it will give him the chance to get first team experience this season," McDowall told his club's website.

"Out of all the lads, Jim has perhaps impressed me the most this season and it is an indicator of how well he has done that there have been a few clubs inquiring about his availability on a loan basis.

"He is well-equipped for first team football and I am expecting him to handle it well."



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