Darren O'Dea returns to Celtic as under-18s boss after short Motherwell spell

Darren O'Dea
Darren O'Dea had joined Motherwell after retiring from playing with Dundee

Darren O'Dea says it is "one of the proudest moments" of his career after switching from Motherwell Under-18s to manage their Celtic counterparts.

The move comes only four months after the 32-year-old left Dundee to take the youth management role at Fir Park.

"I am incredibly honoured to be given this role," the former Republic of Ireland centre-half said on Twitter.

It means a return to the club where he started his senior career, lifting two league titles and winning two cups.

Current Celtic Under-18s' coach Stephen McManus, the former Motherwell centre-half, steps up to reserve team coach to work alongside their manager, Tommy McIntyre.

Motherwell say O'Dea's successor has already "been appointed and will be announced shortly".

O'Dea had announced he was retiring from playing when leaving Dundee but signed for East Kilbride shortly after joining Motherwell.

However, he left the Lowland League side shortly after that without making an appearance in order to concentrate on his coaching at Fir Park.

He told the Lanarkshire club's website that it was "an extremely tough decision to leave Motherwell".

"However, this was a big opportunity that presented itself unexpectedly and I felt I had to take the job," he said.

Motherwell say O'Dea "has made a significant impact in his short time at Fir Park" and first-team manager Stephen Robinson added: "The timing of the vacancy elsewhere wasn't great from our point of view, but it couldn't be helped - it was an offer he couldn't refuse."

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