Stephen O'Donnell (Irish footballer)

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Stephen O'Donnell
Stephen O'Donnell.jpg
Stephen O'Donnell in action for Dundalk in the 2015 League of Ireland
Personal information
Full name Stephen O'Donnell
Date of birth (1986-01-15) 15 January 1986 (age 31)
Place of birth Galway, Ireland
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 6
Youth career
2003–2005 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Falkirk 52 (3)
2007–2008 Bohemians 38 (4)
2009 Cork City 19 (0)
2010 Galway United 26 (8)
2011–2012 Shamrock Rovers 16 (2)
2013– Dundalk 82 (8)
National team
2002–2003 Republic of Ireland U17
2006 Republic of Ireland U21
2008–2010 Republic of Ireland U23 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 25 February 2017.

Stephen O'Donnell (born 15 January 1986 in Galway) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Dundalk in the League of Ireland Premier Division.

Club career[edit]


O'Donnell played youth football for Newcastle in County Galway before joining Arsenal as a trainee in the summer of 2002 after completing his Junior Certificate exams.[1] He signed a professional contract at the club in January 2003 but left again in July 2005 without making an appearance for the first team.[2] While he credits the coaching he received during this time with giving him greater confidence on the ball, he has expressed regret at moving to Arsenal at such a young age, feeling that if given the choice again he would have stayed at home, completed his Leaving Certificate exams and joined a team in the League of Ireland.[3]


O'Donnell signed for Falkirk in August 2005 in search of more first-team opportunities[4] and became a regular in their team, mostly playing on the left-side of midfield. He had a greater desire to be played centrally in his natural position, and after receiving no assurances about this from manager John Hughes, O'Donnell rejected a new contract in summer 2007.[5]

Return to Ireland[edit]

O'Donnell was signed by Sean Connor on an 18-month deal for Bohemians in August 2007. He became a regular starter in the first team, which included scoring against Rhyl in the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup,[6] but decided to move on after one season at Dalymount Park.

Having rejected a new contract offer,[7] he signed a two-year deal with Cork City on 21 February 2009.[8]

He signed for his local club, Galway United, in the weeks leading up to the 2010 League of Ireland season. He made 28 appearances for Galway scoring eight goals.

Shamrock Rovers[edit]

In January 2011, O'Donnell signed for the League of Ireland champions, Shamrock Rovers.[9]

On 22 February 2011, O'Donnell scored in his first match for the Shamrock against Dundalk in the Leinster Senior Cup.[10]

In August 2011, O'Donnell scored the winning goal from a penalty at Partizan Belgrade as Rovers became the first Irish club to reach the group stages of the UEFA Europa League[11]


He signed for Dundalk on 21 December 2012.

O'Donnell suffered a very serious injury while playing for Dundalk against former club Shamrock Rovers on 18 April 2014. A scan revealed that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and his posterior cruciate ligament and would be out for the remainder of the season.[12]

On 24 October 2014, O'Donnell scored the first goal in the 48th minute of Dundalk's 2–0 win over Cork City in the final match of the season. As a result, Dundalk were crowned premier league champions for the first time in 19 years, winning the league by two points over Cork City who led going into the match.[13] It was O'Donnell's first start since returning from injury and he was awarded man of the match after an impressive display.[14]

The club captain went on to play a prominent role in title wins in 2015 and 2016. Dundalk's three in a row achievement was enhanced as they achieved it despite a bruising fixture schedule brought about by qualification for the group stages of the Europa League.


O'Donnell has been capped by the Republic of Ireland national under-21 football team and the under-23s.[15]



Shamrock Rovers


  • PFAI Premier Division Team of the Year: 2015,[16] 2016[17]


  1. ^ Callan, Ciaran. "DFCTV The Big Interview Stephen O'Donnell Big". YouTube. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Arsenal reserve team squad 2004/2005". Arseweb. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  3. ^ Murphy, Dylan. "The Weekly Read: 'Irish clubs should be beyond just getting a glamour tie' - Dundalk FC captain O'Donnell". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Falkirk swoop for Arsenal youth". BBC Sport. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "O'Donnell and Lambers heading out". BBC Sport. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Rhyl 2–4 Bohemians (agg 3–9)". RTÉ Sport. 29 June 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2012. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ McQueen, Graeme (19 January 2009). "O'Donnell & Burns reject new Bohs deals". Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Hoops scoop top young talent". 9 January 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Farrelly, Aidan (23 February 2011). "Dundalk v Shamrock Rovers". Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  11. ^ "Partizan Belgrade 1:2 Rovers". 25 August 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "O'Donnell is ruled out for season". RTÉ.ie. 19 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Dundalk are Champions". 24 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Comeback king Stephen O'Donnell fires Dundalk to its first title in 19 years". 24 October 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Under-23s off to great start". Football Association of Ireland. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
    "Heartache as stoppage time winner defeats U23s". Football Association of Ireland. 4 June 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
    "Late comeback by U23s not enough against England". Football Association of Ireland. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Seven Dundalk stars in PFAI Team of the Year". RTÉ Sport. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Dundalk and Cork dominate PFAI team of the year". RTÉ Sport. Retrieved 18 October 2016. 

External links[edit]