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Arsene Wenger's Influence Has Now Extended Into The League Of Ireland

Arsene Wenger's Influence Has Now Extended Into The League Of Ireland
By Conor O'Leary

It's always noteworthy when a 31-year-old takes over as a manager of a club; but there's something even more interesting about Shamrock Rovers newest manager.

Stephen Bradley isn't your average young manager. He's from the Arsene Wenger coaching tree, having been Arsenal's scout in Ireland for the last while. Bradley is only Rovers caretaker manager - officially he can't be given the full job yet until he gets his Pro License. He's allowed to act as the caretaker for 60 days.

According to an interview with Cian Tracey today, Bradley was unsure about whether to take the job or not given his inexperience - but Wenger advised him to go for it, and here we are.

Wenger's message was simple, do something to change Irish football. That's quite a statement, but when it comes from someone as storied as Wenger that means something.

But there is something different about Bradley. He's already promoted four players to professional contracts after seeing them in his role as director of coaching for Rovers' schoolboys. Bradley's ideals are simple. He's got a message to youngsters in Ireland not to go away to England - but get the experience in Ireland and see where it takes you:

I believe we need to change something in Irish football. I left at 15 and I wasn't ready to go away - that it  doesn't have to be the be all and end all .

Why would you go away at 16 on a two-year YTS when you could play 40 games here by the age of 18? If you go then, you're thought of as a first-team player rather than a youth player.

I think it's a no-brainer and I think it's needed in Irish football.

[Irish Independent]

See Also: The 40 Best Players In The League Of Ireland Ranked

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