Irish soccer legend Liam Brady has said he believes the lack of emerging soccer talent in Ireland is linked to Brian Kerr’s absence.
Writing in his weekly Irish Examinercolumn Brady said Kerr’s absence from an active role in Irish football was having a negative impact and that he should be brought back into the fold.
He writes: "Something has gone dramatically wrong in how we’re developing our young players.
"I know this from my own experience of being head of youth development at Arsenal because I’ve looked at players in those two cities I’ve mentioned and seen for myself how the standard has fallen. The contrast with the way Leinster rugby and Dublin GAA are developing young talent is striking.
"I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this has happened since Brian Kerr was lost to an active role in Irish football. And since it’s FAI boss John Delaney’s job to identify the problem and fix it, I believe the first thing he should do is settle his differences with Kerr and bring him back into the fold.
"Brian has an unrivalled track record of success with underage teams and bringing through players who would go on to perform at the highest level, like Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Richard Dunne and John O’Shea.
"Even current players, like Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady, would have been coming in at the tail-end of Brian’s influential role in that regard.
"It’s common knowledge that Delaney and Kerr don’t see eye to eye but that should be an irrelevance when it’s something as important as the future of Irish football that’s at stake.
"We’ve had two successive Dutch men charged with the overarching task of technical development by the FAI and I’ve yet to see convincing evidence their work has paid off.
"I think it’s time for the FAI to make a fresh appointment in this crucial role, someone with knowledge of the schoolboy game and experience and feel for the culture and character of this country and its football.
"For me, Brian Kerr is that man. He would know what needs to be done and I’m convinced his appointment would help to put things right."
Read Brady’s full column here