Kenny believes Bradley and Perth can continue to deliver

By Stephen Leonard

NEW Republic of Ireland Senior team manager Stephen Kenny believes fellow Tallaght men Stephen Bradley and Vinny Perth have instilled the right attitude in their respective Airtricity League teams and insists they both have the potential to carve out hugely successful managerial careers.

While Perth took over from Kenny as Dundalk boss last year and led them to a fifth Premier Division crown in six seasons, Bradley and his Shamrock Rovers side landed the club’s first FAI Cup title in 32 years that same term.

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Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny believes fellow Tallaght men Stephen Bradley and Vinny Perth have the potential to lead their respective clubs, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, to more success

The two teams are widely regarded as the strongest sides in the Airtricity League right now, with Rovers having won all of their five opening Premier Division games before the season was shut down and Dundalk having shipped just one loss- that coming in a classic encounter with the Hoops in Tallaght Stadium.

Certainly lifting the FAI Cup back in November provided Rovers with the perfect springboard into the new campaign and Kenny believes that achievement will spur on the Hoops.

“With Stephen Bradley, he's won his first trophy with the FAI Cup, a big milestone for him, a big day in the Aviva Stadium. It was very special for him to win it” he told The Echo.

“It's great for him and Shamrock Rovers in helping them progress.

“The good thing with Stephen is how fluid the team is. They want to dominate possession. When I was manager at Dundalk that was the main thing in every game, that was our ambition to dominate possession.

“Now Shamrock Rovers have become the team that dominates possession and I think his system is very fluid and they have great individuality in the team.

“They have to get the balance right. I think last year, they just didn't score enough goals, but they seem to have more firepower this year and a consistent pattern that suits them.

“They're a very very exciting team and he's put his imprint on that, together with the coaching staff and Stephen McPhail as Director of Football.

“Stephen's a very young coach and it's a great platform for him to go on and do really well in his career” he said.

Kenny appreciates, first hand, the potential of Perth, who weathered a huge amount of scrutiny and pressure when taking over from the massively successful Kenny at Oriel Park.

Indeed that pressure only intensified when they fell 13 points behind then leaders Shamrock Rovers early on in last year’s title race, but the Killinarden man rallied his troops and they stormed back to lift both the Premier Division crown as well as the EA Sports Cup.

“With Vinny, we worked together well, we had a very good relationship and we bounced off each other well. We had very good rapport” recalled Kenny.

“Vinny has a great job at Dundalk and he's absolutely earned that right to be manager of Dundalk.

“He's a manager now in his own right and he has the opportunity to go on and have great success in his career and he certainly deserves the opportunity to do that.

“I'm sure the last six years have been a really good learning curve for him. He's someone who's looking to constantly evolve as well and I'm sure he'll go on to have a really successful career” he predicted.

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