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'The Young Talent In This League Is As Good Any Around Europe'

'The Young Talent In This League Is As Good Any Around Europe'
By Andrew Dempsey Updated

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley believes that League of Ireland football is on the rise following a superb week for the three remaining clubs in the European competition this season.

The Hoops’ Head Coach was speaking in the aftermath of his side’s last injury time win over Albanian champions FK Teuta.

The result meant that both Rovers and Bohemians had won their two European games this week, while Dundalk also earned a pivotal 2-2 draw away to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

This week’s results have also seen Irish clubs already reach their 2016 coefficient level thanks to the exploits all three clubs in Europe.

And Bradley feels it is a sign that the league is moving in the right direction.

“I firmly believe it is on the rise,” Bradley said after the game. “The young talent in this league is as good any around Europe. It’s as good as any of the leagues that we compete with.

We need to keep believing and trusting our young players and keep putting them in. They are showing week in and week out that these are top quality players.

I think we are spurring each other on. I saw Patrick McEleney’s goal and Bohs had a great result the other night. It’s definitely a positive year for Irish clubs.

But I think this has been coming for a quite some time. We’ve been unlucky with the draws a few times, but this has been coming.

We still a way to go with the second legs but we’re definitely improving.

Rovers came into the game with plenty of talk surrounding the future of Liam Scales, but the Hoops boss confirmed there has been no update on his situation at the club.

“[There is] nothing yet on Liam,” he added. “We are where we were and I’m still waiting on the board and Stephen [McPhail].

“We’ll have that discussion over the coming week and then I’ll find out obviously through them. But [there is] nothing to report on that [since Wednesday].”


Aidomo Emakhu Shines On European Stage

But Thursday night belonged to Rovers’ teenage star Aidomo Emakhu who scored a late injury time winner for the hosts.

The 17-year-old found the back of the net after some great play from Ireland international Daniel Mandroiu, with Bradley singing the praises of his young star.

“I’m always conscious of when you put young boys in because you can hurt them as well,” he said on Emakhu.


He’s a really exciting prospect but you just don’t want to hurt him. But I felt [it] was the right occasion for him.

He’s been very good, and you can get that feeling. I watched him here for the U19s on Sunday and I knew he was ready. I’m delighted for him.

He’s a really good kid, works extremely hard and is obviously incredibly talented.

He added: “The boy is talented. When he was at Lourdes Celtic under-10s and under-11s he was at every club in England.

I’ve known him since he was really young, and I watched him a lot.

Everyone outgrew him for two years but now he has taken a stretch, so he’s come back well now and what you’re seeing now is what he always had.

We just need to put him in and take him out at the right times. When the time is right, he’ll get his run of games, but we just need to look after him.

SEE ALSO: Teenager Aidomo Emakhu Scores Late Winner As Rovers Cap Off A Fine Week In Europe For Irish Clubs

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