Stephen Bradley turns down offer from Lincoln as Dermot Desmond helps convince him to stay at Shamrock Rovers

Stephen Bradley opted to turn down Lincoln after a collective Shamrock Rovers effort that included part owner Dermot Desmond and captain Ronan Finn helped persuade the 37-year-old to stay.

he Hoops confirmed on Friday that Bradley has turned down the opportunity to move to League One club Lincoln City, who had officially approached the League of Ireland champions with a view to hiring the Dubliner.

He made his decision last night after a day of talks with various figures at Rovers. It’s understood that billionaire Desmond, who owns 25pc of the Tallaght club, was involved in that process along with the club’s independent chair, Ciaran Medlar. Both have a good relationship with Bradley. Finn also made representations to reflect the view of the dressing room.

Bradley retains ambitions to manage in the UK at some point, but he ultimately concluded that he still has unfinished business with his current employers, with a lot of focus on this summer’s European campaign, which could prove lucrative for all parties if the club can advance to group stage football.

Rovers were worried that Bradley would depart when Lincoln made an official approach for his services.

But leading figures at the club never abandoned hope that their back to back league winning boss would stick around.

“During the past few days, there has been much speculation about my immediate future as Shamrock Rovers Head Coach. I would like to thank Lincoln City for expressing an interest in speaking to me about their vacant managerial position. Like every manager and coach, I one day have an ambition to test myself in different countries and at different levels of the game,” Bradley said in a Rovers statement.

“But right now, I am very happy to stay and continue my work at Shamrock Rovers. I love this club and I feel that our work here is not yet complete.

“The exceptional squad of players that we’ve built and our incredible fans make me feel so hungry that we have a real opportunity to achieve more success at home and in Europe to match the ambitious targets we have set ourselves as a club over the next few years.

“I would like to thank the Chairman and the Board for their counsel and support over the past few days. We have a huge few months coming up starting with tonight at home against Finn Harps and me, my staff and the players are ready to go!”

Bradley’s decision to stay offers stability for Rovers ahead of a key phase in their title defence, starting tonight at home to Finn Harps.

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