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Ex-Celtic, Leeds defender O'Dea turned down Euro offers for Toronto FC

Darren O'Dea has revealed he turned down plenty of interest from around Europe to sign with Toronto Fc recently.

The 25-year old Republic of Ireland international departed Celtic at the end of last season and was on the hunt for a new club for most of the summer before he was snapped up by the Reds in early August.

O'Dea admitted that there were clubs from all over Europe asking about him but when he was invited to watch a Toronto match at BMO Field prior to joining, he knew he wanted to play Major League Soccer in Canada.

"I felt the buzz, I felt really excited. That was when I knew I wanted to play there," O'Dea said.

"About 4,000 agents were ringing me every day before that. I had offers from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Greece, probably even Kazakhstan, but none of them inspired me.

"A couple of them were offering very, very good money, but that's not why I started playing football. I knew I wanted to move to Toronto."

O'Dea has made four appearances for Toronto since arriving in Ontario and says he is feeling much more confident because of regular game time.

"The move has helped me. I'm more confident because I'm playing games," O'Dea added.

"I feel a lot stronger than I did before. Last year I was playing in Leeds and I was living in Glasgow. It was three hours' drive every day, three or four times a week.

"I could barely move when I got out of the car when I got home. My family weren't settled whatsoever.

"I have been chucked about a little bit recently. I knew I was leaving Celtic two and a half years ago, it's just that my boots were still in the locker there.

"I knew it was time I settled down and I will certainly be able to do that at Toronto and I am looking forward to staying a few years there."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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