I was thrilled to hear that Jim O’Brien has extended his stay at the club. Since arriving in 2019, O’Brien has been an influential player both on and off the pitch. With his Scottish determination and uncanny toughness, he has made a significant impact on the club.
O’Brien joined Notts County at a low point in the club’s history, but his arrival gave us fans hope that things would improve. And improve they did - under the guidance of Luke Williams and the ownership of the Reedtz brothers, the Magpies have risen from the National League.
In his time at the club, O’Brien has featured 106 times and scored 9 goals, including two hat-tricks. He consistently delivers steady performances and has produced some very good football. His natural aggression and determination make him a formidable opponent on the pitch.
O’Brien’s versatility is also an asset to the team. He can play both attacking and defensive roles in midfield and is able to adapt to different positions on the pitch. Last season, he silenced his critics with an important hat-trick against Maidstone United.
As Notts County return to League Two action, I believe that O’Brien’s experience and style will be key. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, he always makes a positive impact. His ability to outwit younger and less experienced players gives Notts County an edge over their opponents.
In a 2022 interview, O’Brien addressed his leadership role at Notts County and made a vow to the club: “I’m maybe getting a little bit softer as I’m getting older and working on the coaching side of things. I think a couple of years ago I’d be a bit more harsh, but I just think when you work with the boys more regularly, and you know what they’re about, and you know they want to work hard, they want to get better.”
He continued: “Technical mistakes you can work on but as long as they’re seeing the right things, or they’re trying to do the right things you can hold your hand up and say we can work on the technical side. At least the lads have seen the pass, or they’ve maybe not played it properly.”
O’Brien also made a vow to Notts County: “I said that [retiring at Notts]. I don’t want to jinx myself either, but I don’t want to keep going down the levels and going part-time.” This shows his commitment to the club and his desire to continue playing at a high level.
Notts County fans are thrilled that O’Brien has extended his stay at the club. Thomas Rose describes O’Brien as “the heart and soul of Notts County” and praises his leadership both on and off the pitch. Lynn Collins is also happy with the news, saying that O’Brien “will boost confidence on and off the field.”
Daphne Mounteney simply calls it “great news,” while TheSkipper praises O’Brien’s footballing intelligence: “His football mind is always switched on, and it’s incredible to see him think ahead of much younger players.” Countyman agrees that O’Brien’s presence in the squad is a “blessing,” while AmericanPie calls it “fantastic news” and hopes that other key players will also extend their stays at Notts County.
Luke Williams, Notts County’s manager, has high praise for O’Brien: “As he demonstrated last season and in previous campaigns, he has so much to offer with his quality, mentality and tenacity. Having made nearly 550 career appearances, he also has vast experience to share with the group – a role we know he embraces. Importantly, he has an incredible connection with our supporters as well. He’s been with them all the way through our relegation, the National League years and our eventual promotion. It’s going to be wonderful to see him represent us in the EFL once again.”
In my opinion, Jim O’Brien’s extended stay at Notts County is certainly great news for the club and its fans. With his talent and experience, he will undoubtedly continue to be a key player for the Magpies.
As Notts County fans, all we have ever wanted is players who are determined to leave everything on the pitch - players who connect with the club and proudly wear the famous black and white shirt with pride. These are all things which Jim O’Brien demonstrates. I would encourage all fans to back him and his teammates ahead of our League Two campaign.