Following an impressive debut with Vancouver Whitecaps FC after joining the club late in the 2012 season, centre back Andy O’Brien wanted to stay fit and in-form during the off-season. To do this O’Brien, a Republic of Ireland international, returned to his former club, English npower Championship side Bolton Wanderers, for a one-month training spell.
The importance of off-season training cannot be understated, as all players prepare to return to Vancouver in top-form for Whitecaps FC to be successful in the 2013 MLS season.
Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie hopes that this training period will be extremely positive for the ‘Caps centre back.
“Andy has a history with Bolton, having played with them in the past, and he has a home nearby, so it made sense for him to train with them during the off-season to keep in shape,” said Rennie. “He played great for us down the stretch last season, so for him to keep fit, keep sharp, and keep the momentum going will be really good for him and for our team as we head into preseason this year.”
O’Brien appeared in nearly 90 matches during his time with Bolton, which lasted from 2007 until 2011.
Since joining Whitecaps FC on August 1, 2012, on a transfer from Championship side Leeds United, O’Brien has appeared in eight matches, including the final four games of the regular season and the knockout round playoff game against LA Galaxy.
He has become a mainstay for the ‘Caps on the back end, providing solid defending with fellow centre back Jay DeMerit. The hope is that O’Brien continues his fine form throughout the 2013 MLS regular season to guide the ‘Caps to the postseason for a second straight year.
Although he will not see any game action, O’Brien will gain valuable training time and return to Whitecaps FC in time for the start of preseason on January 20.