Published: 22/01/2013 11:14

Republic of Ireland call-up for Derby County youngster O'Brien

Written byDAVID BROOME

Mark O'Brien Mark O'Brien

DERBY County defender Mark O’Brien has joined his team-mates in being called up for the Republic of Ireland.

Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon were named in the senior squad on Monday, and O’Brien has now been seconded to the Under-21s.

The 20-year-old centre-half is in Noel King’s squad for the match against the Netherlands on Wednesday, February 6 in his hometown of Dublin.

O’Brien has started the Rams’ last four matches after he successfully returned to action from a cruciate ligament injury sustained midway through last season, and has made nine appearances so far this season.

Manager Nigel Clough said: “It’s pleasing to see another one of our players receive international recognition and after battling back from a few long-term injuries already in his career, Mark thoroughly deserves this call-up.”

O’Brien is a graduate of Derby’s academy and has represented his country at various youth levels in the past, but never at Under-21 level, although he was placed on standby for their game against Liechtenstein just over a year ago.

The former Cherry Orchard trainee signed professional terms in 2009 and has since made 33 appearances for the Rams.

Four years ago he was voted as the Republic of Ireland’s Under-19 player of the year.

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