Ireland’s Best Are No Longer Good Enough

Dave Hannigan

Eighteen years have passed since Liam Brady became head of youth development at Arsenal. As one of the club’s greatest ever players, the man who once won the Scudetto for Juventus with a penalty in the final game of the season arrived back at Highbury with a specific task. He was charged with rebuilding the academy and under-age set up. Of course, as an Irishman, Brady gave himself a wider remit than just that. The Dubliner wanted to bring more Irish on board because it just seemed wrong even in the mid-90s that Niall Quinn had been the last of his compatriots to break through from the youths to the first team.

 

After close on two decades in office, Brady retires this month with not a single Irish lad at the club. Worse still, nobody came through in the interim to replicate the journey made by Quinn.  When asked…

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