Arsenal have confirmed that Liam Brady will step down from his duties at the club’s youth academy before May 2014.
The former Irish international, who played for the Gunners between 1973-80, became the Head of Youth Development and Academy Director in 1996 and will depart after 25 years service.
A statement on the club’s website reads:
Brady, 56, a former Republic of Ireland International midfielder who starred for the Gunners in the 1970s, has established Arsenal’s academy as one of the leaders in the game over the past 17 years. He has now given early notification of his desire to leave his role in order to help recruit a successor and ensure an orderly handover period.
Brady had a glittering playing career, starring for Arsenal in the 1970s before moving to Italy, where he enjoyed spells with Juventus, Sampdoria, Inter Milan and Ascoli. He finished his playing career with West Ham United. He also had spells as a manager with Celtic and Brighton and Hove Albion, and more recently assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland.
During his time as Arsenal’s head of youth development and the academy, he has been responsible for developing numerous professional players including Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. The Club will be discussing potential roles with Brady to ensure he stays involved.
Speaking about Brady’s planned departure, Ivan Gazidis spoke warmly about the Irishman’s extraordinary commitment to the Arsenal cause:
“Liam has a deep understanding of what it takes to discover and develop a talented youngster into someone who can perform at the highest level. He has made a massive contribution to Arsenal Football Club. It will be difficult to find a worthy successor but we will be looking for someone who can build on what Liam and his team have created.”
Interestingly there’s no comment from Arsene Wenger as of yet although it goes without saying the boss will have warm words to say about a man with whom he has worked so closely throughout the entirety of his time at Arsenal.
It’s a sad day in the eyes of Arseblog News but with potentially 16 months before he finally leaves we’ve plenty of time for a toast or two. Whatever he has planned we wish him all the best. It must be good if he’s already thinking about it…