Belfast Telegraph

Brady quits Republic post

The Republic of Ireland’s European Championship qualification hopes were dealt a blow last night when Liam Brady announced that he is to quit his job as assistant manager to Giovanni Trapattoni.

Brady released a statement through the FAI announcing that he will step down from his role as the Italian's right-hand man when his contract expires in April, meaning his final match as part of the Irish international backroom team will be in next month's friendly against Brazil at the Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal legend will continue his role as Director of Youth Development under Arsene Wenger at the north London club, but tellingly stated that he was in no way forced to stand down from his Ireland job by the Gunners.

"The decision to end my involvement with Ireland has been taken in light of my continued work as Director of Youth Development at Arsenal.

"The Ireland role required me to be away a lot of time and although Arsenal made it clear they would have been quite happy for me to continue, I have decided it is not right in the circumstances to remain in position after I complete my contract this April."

After his appointment as joint assistant manager alongside Marco Tardelli in March 2008, questions had been raised over Brady's influence on and commitment to Trapattoni's Irish set-up in light of his continuing involvement in the full-time role at Arsenal.

Indeed, the Italian and Brady could be often seen having heated arguments in the dugout during Ireland's last World Cup qualification campaign, which was widely regarded as being a relatively successful one despite a cruel exit at the hands of France last November.

Trapattoni did praise Brady for his contribution in the statement, saying: "He has done a great job here and I know all of the players join me in wishing him every continued success at Arsenal."

Tardelli will now assume one of the main tasks assigned to Brady, that of liaising with English clubs and that assimilation should be a formality.

The FAI were forced to issue a hurried statement last night. “The Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that Liam Brady will finish his role as assistant manager with the senior international team when his contract expires in April this year.”

Trapattoni said: “Liam has been a great asset to the Ireland management team and we will all be sorry to see him go after his last match with us against Brazil in the Emirates Stadium..”

It would be difficult to conceive of a collective wake being organised by the Irish playing staff on receipt of this news.

Certainly Andy Reid, in whose exile from the squad Brady allegedly played a leading role, may have breathed a sigh of relief.

And do not be surprised if the enduring epic of Stephen Ireland's future participation in an Ireland squad, at one stage so memorably and cuttingly dismissed by Brady, does not return to the agenda before the start of the next qualifying campaign.

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