Thursday , June 24 2021

Robbie Brady itching to get the Ireland jersey back on



Matt Doherty remains a doubt for Ireland's clash with Northern Ireland on Thursday after missing a full-time injury.

Ciaran Clark and Shane are long-awaited, but Martin O'Neill has sounded as though he would have a fair few of his squad to have with Robbie Brady back and to judge by the 26-year- old days day of training, the enthusiasm is mutual.

The diller was a great place to stay. It is a great place to stay.

The Leicester City defender is the only player in the league who has been playing the same ball as he was last year. Harry Maguire, and came off the worst of it.

Before the mishap, Brady had been struggling with a touch of tendonitis in his knee and laughs. "He's helped me in a way because that burning sensation is gone but I've had a year out for that."

Solitude

That year, he says, was tough, even more mentally than physically as he endured the solitude of rehab. He is a member of the international team, and he is relieved to be in a position to actually contribute.

"I have not played a game for 12 months now, but I've been feeling stronger as the months have gone on. Coming into it now, I feel really good. I played Hull under-23s in one of my first games back, "he recalls," and a young lad came through my knee, a straight leg, so that was a good test for the first few minutes. I had a little word, told him to calm down. But I came through it. It's solid; it's as strong as it is ever been. "

The midfielder is not promising any miracles but he is hoping for some point soon to recover the sort of form he made. A fair few players have gone since then, and they are accepting that there is more to a lead by example now that he is categorized as one of the squad's senior players.

"Definitely," he says. "A few of the lads were talking about James McClean's goal (in Austria) and that's a couple of years ago now. The qualifier with Bosnia was a year before that again, three years ago today, I do not know where those three years have gone.

"The familiar faces are gone and a rebuilding stage has gone from the start of the year. We're starting to go now and I still keep in touch. They were great for me and helped me but I am so young and lonely. Some of them have great ability so if I can help them as well as the senior lads who helped me, I will try and give them a hand along the way. "

Annoying

But he admits it is not entirely selfless stuff. Brady is desperate to make up for some time.

"I've missed out on a few caps over the years with little niggles and injuries. That's annoying in itself but when you are completely sidelined for the year … "

His routine at Burnley, he says, has been involved in training for each day with seven or eight other players, "having the craic," on the road and then heading off to the gym.

"Then half the group is away for international duty and the place is even quieter. It is disappointing when you can not travel away. Aviva is always special. I'm desperate to get back to it, I'm desperate to go out and play there and then play in Denmark the week after. It's been a long time coming. I'm really looking forward to it. "


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