|Date Of Birth:||Jan-27-1958|
|Place Of Birth:||Dublin|
|Debut:||21-Sep-75, League Cup, (h), Shelbourne, 3-1|
A trip to Liverpool and a chance to savour the atmosphere peculiar to Anfield and the Kop was Synan Braddish’s reward for winning a Dublin Schoolboy under-12 medal. Little did he know that eight years later he would return there as a Liverpool player. By this stage he would have caps at schoolboy, youth, amateur, under-21, inter-league and at full international level.
In the early 1970s he played with Raven Athletic in the Finglas area, a club that served as a nursery for Dundalk. He was ear marked at the age of 12 by Arsenal’s Dublin scout, Bill Darby, but after spending his school leave for two years at Highbury, Arsenal lost interest.
Coming to Oriel Park during the 1975-76 season, Jim McLaughlin nursed him through his first year, giving him three first team games but spending most of the year on the bench.
He became much busier in the following year, picking up two mementos, first in the Leinster Cup and at the end of the season he was a member of Jim McLaughlin’s first FAI Cup-winning squad, appearing in all five campaign games and scoring the extra time winner in the semi-final against St Patrick’s Athletic.
In his third Oriel season he was on most team sheets, playing in 43 of the 47 games and his consistently good performances drew the attention first of Torquay manager Frank O’Farrell, then Irish manager Johnny Giles and later of Liverpool manager Bob Paisley.
Early in the season O’Farrell’s bid was rejected, being deemed too low. Under Giles, he earned an under-21 cap in March against Northern Ireland and in a busy April he collected two Irish caps and a trip to Argentina with the League of Ireland team, where he scored in 3-1 defeat by Argentina at Buenos Aires.
To crown an outstandingly successful year, at the end of April Bob Paisley came to Oriel Park to see him and a week later he was the major figure in a three-player transfer to Liverpool—with Derek Carroll and Brian Duff—for a fee of £50,000.
After eighteen months at Liverpool he returned to Oriel Park in January 1980, when Dundalk were chasing Limerick the whole way to the final game but failed by a point to catch Eoin Hand’s Shannonsiders. Synan’s contribution included a hat-trick against Shelbourne when Dundalk’s 9-0 victory was the largest victory in the club’s history and when Leo Flanagan also contributed a hat-trick—his all coming penalties.
There was another League runner up medal in the following season, this time in the wake of runaway winners Athlone Town but by then Synan had completed a full hand of all the major LOI trophies when Galway were overcome in January after a penalty shoot-out in the final of the League Cup. However, at the end of October he had been placed on the open-to-transfer list, having failed to command a first team spot in a very competitive squad.
He spent most of that season either on the bench or with the reserves and by the end of January his season, and his Oriel Park career, was over. His next four seasons were spent at middle-of-the-table St Patrick’s Athletic. He opened the 1985-86 season—the first Premier Division year--with Pats, and in mid-year he moved to Shelbourne, but could do nothing to prevent the Reds demotion to Division 1.
While Shels were immediately climbing back to the Premier Division on the coattails of Derry City, Synan was with Athlone Town, a long way last in the Premier. He again missed the boat in the 1987-88 year, leaving Athlone early in the season to join Drogheda—Athlone headed Division 1 while Drogheda were stuck halfway down.
Appointed Drogheda team manager in the summer of 1988, he won his first Division 1 memento with a comprehensive five-point winning margin, after effectively clinching promotion at the end of February when defeating their nearest rivals UCD. As well as managing the club, he was a near ever-present with 26 league appearances and contributed an important 8 goals during the league campaign.
However, the following season saw both clubs demoted back to Division 1. A back injury had limited Synan’s contribution to appearing in just 8 League games this season, but it still came as a shock when he quit early in 1990-91 to join Kilkenny City.
After one season with the Cats, Synan made his last League of Ireland move, finishing his senior career with Longford Town, his seventh League club, and his 17th League season.
His father Leo was a Limerick inter-county hurler and Synan was aged 14 when he was rated no 4 table tennis player in Ireland.
What They Said About Him
Mel Moffatt Irish Press after Braddish had scored the only goal in the 1977 FAI Cup semi-final replay: “The frizzy-haired teenage midfielder delivered a golden goal after two minutes of extra-time to put Dundalk into the FAI Cup final …… pounced after a partial clearance by Pat’s defence …. Delivered his shot with stunning left-foot power that flew into the corner of the net …. Brilliant and richly deserved.”
5 Wins: FAI Cup 1976-77; 2 League Cup 1977-78, 1980-81; 2 Leinster Cup 1976-77, 1977-78.
2 Runners Up: 2 League 1979-80, 1980-81.
1 League of Ireland Cap
2 International Caps
5 Under-21 caps
1 with Dundalk, 4 with Liverpool
|LOI Career...League Games|
|St Patrick's Ath||1981-86||111(5)||10|
|LOI 17 seasons||290(25)||41|