Robbie Brady says Hoolahan exile under former boss was a shame for Irish football

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan celebrates scoring their first goal with Glenn Whelan

Robbie Brady has described Wes Hoolahan’s exile from the Irish squad as a shame but has called to appreciate his talent now.


Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan celebrates scoring their first goal with Glenn Whelan

Ireland and Norwich City full-back Robbie Brady has told the Daily Mail that Wes Hoolahan’s omission from the Republic of Ireland squad in previous years was a shame for Irish football.

Hoolahan scored for Ireland in their 1-1 draw with Sweden yesterday and put in a performance that confounds the fact that he has been absent from the international team for so long in the past.

Now at the age of 34 Hoolahan has found the door re-opened to him by manager Martin O’Neill; something that was not the case under his predecessor Giovanni Trapattoni.

Norwich's Robbie Brady celebrates scoring their first goalNorwich's Robbie Brady believes it is a shame that Hoolahan has not featured for Ireland more in the past

And despite entering the twilight years of his career, Brady believes that while it is a shame that he has not featured more regularly, Irish fans should enjoy him while he does still play.

“It's a shame for football, a shame for Irish football especially that he did miss that much time and people didn't get to see him more," he said.

“But he's here now, so people just need to tune in and catch the best of him because he's still a top-class player. He's a class act and I'm over the moon for him.

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea celebrates scoring their first goal with Robbie Brady and Harry ArterBrady (R) with Irish teammates Harry Arter (L) and John O'Shea (C)

“He was excellent, which he always is. He's one of these lads that you think might get caught on the ball sometimes and he just manages to come out with something to get himself out of it.

“He's a joy to play with and it's a joy to watch him play. All credit to him.”

Brady also started alongside club teammate Hoolahan in Ireland’s opener against Sweden, and looked to be a constant threat down the Irish left flank, with both full-backs pushing on high as Ireland took control of the game early on.

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan scores their first goal

But it would be from the opposite flank that Hoolahan’s opener would come from, courtesy of excellent work from Seamus Coleman, who duly picked out the now veteran play-maker to open the scoring.

Ireland’s next fixture is against Belgium in Bordeaux on Saturday.

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