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Andy O'Brien

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Andy O'Brien

Andy O'Brien signed for Newcastle half-way through the 2000-01 season from Bradford City. The highly-rated 22-year-old defender came up through the youth set up at Valley Parade and the centre back played over a century of games for Bradford and scored three goals. He helped them get promotion to the Premiership in 1998/99 season and was influential in keeping them there 1999/2000.

He made an inspiring partnership with Nikos Dabizas at the centre of Newcastle's defence after his move, and didn't do his cause any harm when he scored the equaliser for Toon in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland in April.

He played for the Republic of Ireland Under 21 side, and scored his first goal for his country in March 2001 in Ireland's 1-0 win in Cyprus, and he won his first full cap at the end of the season against Estonia.

He was included for the Ireland squad for World Cup 2002, but didn't play during their campaign. However, O'Brien was again influential at the back during Newcastle's Champions League campaign, and even kept his place in the side from big-transfer signings Titus Bramble and Jonathan Woodgate. His partnership with Woodgate is something to look forward to next season.

Playing Position: Defender

Date of Birth: 29th June 1979

Height: 6'2"

Squad Number: 5

Date Signed/Fee: March 2001/ 1m

NUFC debut: 31 March 2001 vs. Bradford (A)

Previous Club: Bradford City

International Career: Ireland full caps

NUFC Total Games/Goals: 85 (7) 4