Airtricity League preview: Stephen Bradley gets advice from Wenger

Stephen Bradley has revealed he got Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s blessing to take temporary charge of Shamrock Rovers as he prepares for tonight’s derby with Bohemians at Tallaght Stadium.

Director of coaching at Rovers’ schoolboys section, as well as a first-team coach at the club, Bradley stepped in last week to take charge of the first team following Pat Fenlon’s sacking.

The 31-year-old is also senior scout in the island of Ireland for Arsenal, a role he will continue to fulfil. “I spoke to Arsenal, I spoke to the boss, and he’s given me permission to do it until the end of the season,” said Bradley of his contact with Wenger after being asked to step into the hot seat at Rovers, though he can only do so for 60 days as he doesn’t yet have a Pro Licence.

“He’s happy. He told me I must take it as it’s great experience. He said, ‘go with your gut, and with what you feel (is right)’. The boss, as I call him, and Steve Rowley, who is the chief scout, gave me permission to go and do it.”

Though they’ve not beaten Bohemians in the league in Tallaght in four years, Bradley knows their arch-rivals will be a wounded animal after Rovers whipped them 4-0 at Dalymount Park back in April. “It’s their cup final,” he said.

Luke Byrne and Danny North remain out injured for Rovers who are also without suspended midfielder Gary McCabe.

Bohemians are missing the injured Stephen Best and Lorcan Fitzgerald while Dan Byrne, Paddy Kavangah, and Ayman Ben Mohamed are fitness concerns.

Bottom of the table Longford Town hope to get clearance for new singing Yann Mvita Nkelu, a 6’ 5 central defender from French fourth-tier side Coulommiers Brie, in time for their trip to Derry City.

Fellow new signings, goalkeeper Ryan Coulter and striker Eddie Dsane, come straight into the squad. .

Captain Ryan McBride is banned for Derry while midfielder Gareth McGlynn remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Tonight’s matches (7.45 unless stated) Premier Division:

Derry City v Longford Town; Shamrock Roves v Bohemians (Live on eir Sport, 8pm).

First Division:

Drogheda United v Athlone Town; UCD v Waterford United


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