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Liam Brady reveals ambition to become Irish boss


Arsenal legend Liam Brady has apparently asked Arsene Wenger for permission to put himself forward as a candidate for the Republic Of Ireland job, vacated by Steve Staunton earlier this week.

Brady has been in the Arsenal coaching set-up since Wenger arrived at the club in 1996, with the Irishman leading the club’s academy system as the head of youth development.

Prior to that, of course, Liam was one of the finest players ever to pull on a Gunners’ shirt when he played for the club in a seven year stint during the 1970s, scoring 59 goals in 307 appearances and was a member of the FA Cup winning side in 1979.

He went on to play for Juventus, Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Ascoli before ending his playing days with West Ham.

Brady then went straight into management, taking charge of Glasgow Celtic from 1991-93 and then Brighton & Hove Albion from 1993-95.

If Le Gaffer does allow him to talk to the FAI and Brady can persuade them that he can lead the Irish to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, then his nation’s gain would most definitely be Arsenal’s loss...

Brady has developed an academy system that is the envy of Europe. The Arsenal youth set-up has helped develop the likes of David Bentley, Jermaine Pennant, Ashley Cole, Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz and Jeremie Aliadiere, while the current crop of youngsters lingering in the youths and reserves are without doubt the best in the club’s history.

Under Liam’s tutelage, the academy teams have enjoyed some great victories over the years, including the Under-18s winning the FA Youth Cup in both 2000 and 2001, FA Premier Youth League Champions in 1998 and topping their regional group last season.

Last season, more that 38,000 people turned up at Emirates Stadium to watch the Under-18s take on Manchester United in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final - a record youth football attendance in this country.

However, if Brady is to be successful, he needs to negotiate a bizarre selection process put in place by the FAI. An anonymous outside three-man committee will make recommendations to the FAI board who will then make a decision.

Among the names being mentioned alongside Brady’s are John Aldridge and another former Gunners legend David O’Leary, who made a record 722 appearances for Arsenal.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 25, 2007 2:00 PM in News
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