'I will never ever say no to Ireland' - Toronto FC defender Darren O'Dea

The former Celtic centre back says that he would never turn down the opportunity to play for the Boys in Green in the wake of Darron Gibson's withdrawal from the squad
Republic of Ireland defender Darren O’Dea claims he would never turn down the opportunity to represent his country but says he has tried to understand why team-mate Darron Gibson may have done so ahead of the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan on Friday.

Everton midfielder Gibson turned down the chance to join up with Giovanni Trapattoni’s 23-man squad ahead of Friday’s encounter as reports suggest the 24-year-old is still smarting from the way he was treated in Poland/Ukraine and O’Dea insists he would never reject the chance to pull on a green jersey.

Ahead of the clash, the Toronto FC defender said: "Would I do what Darron has done? No. I'd show up every time. I will never, ever say no, and I can guarantee that. "Everyone pays their dues. Richard Dunne did not play at the World Cup in 2002 and now it's his turn in the team because he worked for it.

"I hope if I keep going the way I am going that one day I will have my turn and it will be someone else who doesn't kick a ball," he told the Irish Examiner.

"After the Euros I felt drained. I needed a break mentally and maybe Darron feels the same way," added the defender. "Maybe he hasn't got over it but hopefully for the team's sake and for everyone else's sake he does because he is a good player and all the lads get on well with him.

"No-one one knows his circumstances. He will have his own reasons. He certainly loves to play for Ireland so he won't have taken this decision lightly."

The Boys in Green arrived in Astana on Wednesday evening after a 3,000 mile journey which last seven and a half hours.