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'The power of English football is astonishing' | Daniel McDonnell on the Football Show

Stephen Bradley could be the latest Irishman to feature in England’s League One. Lincoln City h...

'The power of English football...

'The power of English football is astonishing' | Daniel McDonnell on the Football Show

Stephen Bradley could be the latest Irishman to feature in England’s League One. Lincoln City has emerged as one of the frontrunners to install the current Shamrock Rovers boss as their new manager. 

Daniel McDonnell joined Joe Molloy on the Football Show to discuss whether the 37-year-old would make the move across the water. 

“The power of English football at the moment is astonishing,” said McDonnell.

“The Championship is the sixth richest league in Europe.Clubs like Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday are playing in the play-off semi final this weekend and there is something like 38,000 tickets sold.”


Lincoln finished 17th last season but do boast former Republic of Ireland underage international Anthony Scully among the ranks. The former West Ham striker scored 11 goals in 35 league games and was rumoured for a senior call-up.

League One has become home for many current internationals. James McClean and Will Keane were league champions with Wigan Athletic whilst JJ Kayode, Georgie Kelly and Chiedozie Ogbene earned automatic promotion with Rotherham United.

“We have an image of League One in our head, and because Lincoln haven’t been in the English second tier since 1961 they sound like a small club. But when you read up on them they have an average attendance of 9,000 and have a wage bill of £5 million. Their manager would probably be paid considerably more than what a manager would get in a very good job here,” said McDonnell. 


Some of Bradley’s staff have been linked to follow their manager out the door to the Imps. Glen Cronin and Stephen McPhail have both been mooted for possible roles in the new set-up. 

Bradley currently has his Rovers side second in the table three points behind Derry City. There is also the prospect of Champions League football to come in the summer but this could be an opportunity too good to turn down. 

“He’s (Bradley) effectively not known in England, and you get an offer at the start of pre-season, so you’re not going in in some sort of short hit with a club that has good respect for Ireland that knows his story here and has targeted him, he might never get as an attractive opportunity to go into the English game again.”

Winning two league titles and a first FAI Cup since 1987 has given Bradley a legacy to be proud of at the Tallaght club. He is the longest serving manager since Paddy Coad left the club in 1960. 

Being at the helm of one the club’s most successful periods in Shamrock Rovers history is an impressive feat, but also is the rehabilitation of Jack Byrne’s career, the blooding of a 16-year-old Gavin Bazunu and the development of players who have left the club as improved players and gone on to pastures new, Liam Scales a prime example. 

Bradley has been subject of interest before from across the Irish Sea, MK Dons considered appointing the Dubliner late last year. It’ll only be a matter of time before the wolves come knocking on the door once again. 

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Chiedozie Ogbene Ireland League Of Ireland League One Lincoln City Shamrock Rovers Stephen Bradley Stephen Kenny