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Monday 5 December 2016

Bradley confirmed as Hoops boss

Stephen Bradley
Stephen Bradley

Shamrock Rovers have confirmed that Stephen Bradley is to stay at the club as head coach.

Bradley spent the second half of last season as caretaker manager, but looked set to leave at the end of the season, as he did not hold a UEFA Pro License.

The club then appointed Sami Ristila as interim manager for the remainder of last season.

Shamrock Rovers' sporting director and former Ireland international Stephen McPhail confirmed the news and was delighted with the appointment.

"Last season Stephen took on the role of interim manager. During his period in charge I witnessed first-hand his ability operating in a difficult and challenging environment," the former Leeds United star said.

"In my opinion, he is one of the best young coaches that I've seen during my time in football and he is absolutely the right man to lead the first team forward at this point in time."

Bradley won the League of Ireland title with the Tallaght-based club in 2010 before moving on to skipper St Patrick's Athletic in 2011.

The former Arsenal reserves captain also won a League title with Drogheda United in 2007. He retired in 2013 after a two-year spell with Limerick FC.

The 31-year-old said he was "honoured" to take the job on a full-time basis. Last season he led the team to a fourth place finish in the League, which ensures Europa League football next season.

"We have a huge amount of work to do but preparations for next season are already well under way and we will work night and day to make sure the team is ready to compete for honours come March."

Fringe

Meanwhile, Dundalk suffered a 2-1 defeat away to Brentford B in a friendly match in England yesterday afternoon.

Stephen Kenny fielded a largely fringe side for the game and they found themselves 2-0 down at half-time courtesy of a Herson Alves penalty and a goal from Jan Holldack.

Dundalk, who had around 40 fans at the game, upped the tempo late on and pulled a goal back on 88 minutes courtesy of substitute Ciaran O'Connor's header but they couldn't get the equaliser that their efforts deserved with O'Connor also hitting the post in the game.

The game was intended as a workout ahead of next Thursday's crucial Europa League match against AZ Alkmaar in Tallaght Stadium.

The Lilywhites, currently in second place in Group D behind Russian side Zenit St Petersburg, know that a win against the Dutch side will put them in with a great chance of reaching the knockout stages.

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