‘I’ve got a schedule in mind’ – Stephen Bradley opens up on future after Shamrock Rovers decision
Stephen Bradley says he has a timetable in mind for when he wants to train in another league but has assured Shamrock Rovers is the right place for him at this stage in his development.
After a week in which he turned down a chance to take Lincoln City out of League One, the 37-year-old has admitted his greatest ambition is to one day lead his country.
The Dubliner is aware his decision to spurn the opportunity to move to English football will draw negative feedback but recalled how people told him he was doing the wrong thing when he quit in his mid-twenties play and later Rovers in a difficult situation took over time. He is ready to trust his own judgment again.
“I’m really hungry and ambitious to be successful at different levels and in different countries,” Bradley said after the 3-1 win over Finn Harps, capping a “frantic” few days of losing his grandmother Emily. as he reached a seismic decision about his future.
“I have a timeline in my head and it stays in my head, but it’s definitely something I want to do without a shadow of a doubt. Please God everything is going well, this will happen in the future. It might not be, but you make choices and you live with them.
“I don’t live my life or make decisions based on the opinions of others. I don’t have to justify what I do or think to anyone,” Bradley continued. “You’re allowed to have an opinion because of the job I work, it’s in public. So I understand that everyone has an opinion on this and that’s fine with me.
“If I had listened to certain people, I would never have taken this job so young. I would never have retired so young. I understand where I want to go and how I want to get there. I understand and respect that everyone has one Opinion on that. That’s the way it is. That’s football.”
When asked if following in Stephen Kenny’s footsteps is his long-term desire, Bradley replied: “Why not? I think it’s the pinnacle of any manager’s career. It’s fantastic to see Stephen doing it now coming out of the league. If someone was offered a job in Ireland, you would run there.”
For now, however, the focus is on Rovers. Bradley says defending the title is his number one goal, but news that the Hoops will be set in the first round of the Champions League this summer has heightened excitement over what could happen in that area and regret at losing against the Estonian opposition that cost Tallaght last season’s group stage football via the champions path to the Europa Conference League.
Bradley said this week’s discussions had convinced him there was still work to be done at Rovers as the various elements of the club rowed in the right direction. He mentioned the club’s board of directors and partners Dermot Desmond and Ray Wilson, who each own 25 percent.
The manager dismissed the suggestion that this week’s trial was about securing a better contract.
“It was never about the contract situation, that was never the issue for the Lincoln part or here,” he said, “it was just about the progression and the next step. It was never about contract length or finances, it wasn’t anything about that, it was about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. If it’s a new contract down the line, it’s a new contract down the line, but it wasn’t about that situation
“With Dermot (Desmond), with Ciaran (Medlar, Chairman), with the board, with Ray (Wilson), it’s good to see that the thinking is aligned. The structures are there, everything is in place and, like I said, I just think we have more work to do here.”
Bradley held Zoom calls with Lincoln before a delegation flew over to meet him face-to-face. He said he made a final decision about his future late Thursday and informed Lincoln Friday morning.
“The board has played a huge role here,” said Bradley, who also pointed to the importance of speaking to club captain Ronan Finn.
“They understood the position I was in when Lincoln came in, which was good, how that was handled. They were really respectful and allowed me to speak to Lincoln. The club always stated that under no circumstances did they want to lose me.
“When I sat down and spoke to them it was a really good conversation and it really validated that I feel we can keep improving and strive to be better.
“I think you’re flattered. I think it’s nice when people realize you’re doing something right. When you meet them you understand that they’re a good club. We had a really good conversation with their owner, their CEO, Head of Performance and Sport Director, these are really good people and they have really good plans.
“It was a good conversation and it was a really difficult decision because they’re a really progressive club in the way they go about things. But I’m just clear and happy and comfortable. There is still more to do here . Last night (Thursday) I just sat down with the people around me, had a good conversation and I just felt like I needed to be here.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/league-of-ireland/i-have-a-timeline-in-my-head-stephen-bradley-opens-up-on-future-after-shamrock-rovers-decision-41624829.html ‘I’ve got a schedule in mind’ – Stephen Bradley opens up on future after Shamrock Rovers decision