Darren O'Dea: Dundee sign former Celtic defender

Darren O'Dea with his Dundee shirt
O'Dea has joined the Dees

Republic of Ireland defender Darren O'Dea is delighted to have returned "home" after signing for Dundee until the end of the season.

The Dublin-born 28-year-old spent six years with Celtic and also had spells in England, United States, Ukraine and, most recently, India.

"If you look at my CV, I have been abroad for the last number of years and I felt that I wanted to come home.

"Scotland is my home now, Glasgow, my wife and daughter are here," he said.

O'Dea was contacted by former Celtic team-mate Paul Hartley, now Dundee's manager, at the end of his contract with Indian Super League club Mumbai City.

"When the manager rang me, it was an easy decision," he said.

"He rang me a couple of days ago and here we are.

"I had interest in England and abroad. There are so many variable and it was the first phone call had where I felt 'I really fancy it, I really do'.

"There was no real thinking to it and my wife and daughter are delighted."

O'Dea, who has 20 international caps, started his career with Celtic but left for Toronto in 2012 after becoming a peripheral figure.

Darren O'Dea in training with Celtic
O'Dea trained with former club Celtic in 2014

While with the Glasgow club, he had loan spells with Reading, Ipswich Town and Leeds United.

Following a year in Major League Soccer, he had a season in Ukraine with Metalurh Donetsk before making 20 appearances for Blackpool in the English Championship last season and nine for Mumbai.

Dundee, who are currently seventh in the Scottish Premiership, were seeking cover for James McPake, who required a knee operation after being stretchered off against Dundee United at the weekend.

Fellow central defender Julen Etxabeguren has also been sidelined with an eye injury.

Hartley, who confirmed that McPake will be out for the rest of the season, said: "He is somebody I know well. He fits the bill for us.

"He is at the right age. He has good experience, a good leader in the same mould as McPake.

"He has a fantastic attitude, played for some really good clubs and we are delighted."

Meanwhile, Riccardo Calder has returned to parent club Aston Villa following a loan spell at Dens Park.

Calder, who can play in defence or midfield, featured 11 times for Hartley's side.