Allardyce Not To Blame For O'Brien's Departure

Last updated : 26 June 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor
Sam Allardyce tried to tie him down, but the Republic of Ireland international wanted none of it.

The winger turned down all appeals and signed a three-year contract at Hibernian.

John Collins has predicted a bright future for the kid after assuring O'Brien he will be given the first-team opportunities he would have found difficult at St James's Park with so many internationals ahead of him in the pecking order.

Allardyce had offered the 22-year-old an improved deal. But playing regular in the SPL is said to be better than Reserve team football in England.

O'Brien: "I've enjoyed my time at Newcastle United immensely, but I believe that with Hibernian I can progress at club and international level. Everyone in the game is aware of what has been happening at Hibernian over the last few years - the quality of young players coming through the ranks into first-team football is exceptional."
Collins: "Alan has chosen Hibernian to progress his career, knowing that this club continues to provide the best possible platform for a young player to learn and enjoy the game. Other clubs were drawn to him as his contract at Newcastle was coming to an end and we're delighted to have signed him. Alan's a young player who has had the best possible grounding at Newcastle and, while his first-team experience has been limited, his quality is without question."