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Saturday 3 December 2016

Brady happy with his dead ball role but feels he has more to offer

Robbie Brady
Robbie Brady

From Steve Staunton to Denis Irwin to Ian Harte, the Ireland senior side had a steady stream of men, usually defenders, who were dead-ball experts.

Robbie Brady has taken on that mantle of late and proved, with his delivery against Holland last month, that he can create havoc for opposing teams. When Ireland get a corner or free kick, to paraphrase that football match in My Left Foot, it's a case of Let Robbie Take It.

But the former St Kevin's Boys player believes he is no one-trick pony and plans to show that to the world in Euro 2016, starting with the game against Sweden on Monday.

"Set pieces are not my only job in the game, I feel as if I can offer more than that, even though it is a big part of the game," says Brady.

"I have been working on them and want to do them right but I want to perform well first of all, and if I can help the team with delivering a good ball that will be perfect.

"Set pieces now is a big part of the game but it always has been and I think that everyone who has ever been able to hit a ball, had different technique.

"But I think I've found what works for me. It's about just trying to perfect that as much as I can and I'm quite happy with how I'm hitting them going into the tournament.

Fancied

"I have always fancied it and the duty has sort of been put on me. I like taking them anyway. I think that everyone knows their certain roles and mine is more or less to go and take them," says Brady, explaining how he keeps team-mates from trying to steal his set pieces.

If Brady's deal balls against the Ducth underlined one of his talents, his goal away to Bosnia in the Euro 2016 play-off showed that the player, who began his career as an attacker but has been converted to left back, can score goals as well as prevent them.

"I like to attack and that was good for me to go and show something like that because in a big tournament it's always good to feel like you've played a little part of helping to get us here. I like going forward, I like to play football," he says.

Brady was an injury concern in the Ireland camp in the lead-up to today's flight to Paris but the Baldoyle lad says he's not worried about his back problem, an injury he sustained in a very unlikely way.

"I just went to lift my little girl out of the bath the other day and as soon as I bent down to pick her up I just felt something go a small bit," he reveals.

"When I woke up the next morning I was a bit tight and stiff. Since then it's been gradually getting better, I could probably have joined in training yesterday but I just sat it out for another day to let it settle but as of today I'm ready to crack on with the pre parations and getting ready for the game.

"Initially when it happened I was thinking 'Ah no, of all times not now'. But that was just when it first happened and it settled down straight away. It's not ideal to be picking up knocks and injuries coming up to the first game but I'm fine, I'm 100 per cent ready to go."

Brady also feels that fellow Canary Wes Hoolahan can use Euro 2016 as the stage to showcase his talents.

"In some ways it's a little bit disappointing, not that he was a late bloomer but because top flight football didn't get to see him until he was in his late 20s," says Brady of Hoolahan.

"That was a little bit of time missed but he's not letting anybody forget about him. He's come in with a bang, he's excellent.

"He's an unbelievable footballer and light years above a lot of people I've played with in terms of his football brain. He's different class. If we can get the best out of Wes in a tournament like this it will be excellent."

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