Andy O’Brien joins Leeds United on loan
With first team chances few and far between at Bolton Wanderers, 26-time Ireland senior international Andy O’Brien has joined Leeds United on a one-month loan deal.
O’Brien has only played three games for Bolton this season, and has declared his intention to do well during his loan spell at Elland Road. “Football’s a cut-throat business,” O’Brien told the club’s website. “To get an opportunity to play at such a big club is something you have to take. From my perspective, I’m here for a month, and I want to do well and get a place in the team.
“I got a phone call from Owen Coyle and he said would I be interested. I said ‘yes’ and now I’m here. I’ve not played as much football as I would have liked. I am grateful for the opportunity, both to Leeds for wanting me and to Bolton for allowing me to come here.
“I’d like to think it’s a win-win situation for Leeds as well because I am here to be working hard for a shirt.”
Leeds United manager Simon Grayson expects O’Brien to do well at Elland Road. “We looked at things and we need a new centre back in there to give us dominance and experience,” Grayson said to leedsunited.com. “Andy has had a fantastic career, and has great experience. He’s a leader and will be a valuable member of the squad for the next month. He brings to the table what maybe other people can’t at this moment in time.
“We’re glad Bolton have let him out. He knows all about Leeds United from when he was young and being down the road at Bradford. He’s here for a month and hopefully all those qualities that he has will rub off on our players over the next few weeks. He’s been at Newcastle where there’s big expectancy levels. I want to see him organising people. He’s an experienced player who can bring out more from those around him. We have players who we know are good players and I’d like to think Andy will help them.”
Although born in Harrogate and representing England at under-18 level, Andy O’Brien was capped 26 times for the Republic of Ireland from 2001 to 2006, and was a member of the 2002 World Cup squad. The defender’s only international goal came in a 1-0 friendly victory over Portugal in 2005. His last game for Ireland was against Cyprus on 7 October 2006. O’Brien turned down the chance to return to the Ireland setup for the 2008 friendly against Brazil under caretaker manager Don Givens, preferring to concentrate on his club career.
O’Brien is expected to immediately slot into the Leeds United first team today, replacing injured captain Richard Naylor, as his new club takes on Scunthorpe United in the nPower Championship. He will make up an all Irish central defensive partnership alongside 26 year old Alex Bruce.