Robbie Brady explains how a freak bath time incident with his daughter left him with an injured back
Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30
Robbie Brady managed to avoid throwing the baby out with the bath water as he felt a sudden pain in his back which has preoccupied the national media and Republic of Ireland supporters prior to the squad's departure for France today.
Luckily, Brady, he of the trusty left foot and an increasingly important player in Martin O'Neill's plans for Euro 2016, is on the mend.
His injury was described as a 'back spasm' and the 24-year-old Norwich City midfielder-cum-defender looked slightly sheepish as he described it.
"I just went to lift my little girl out of the bath the other day, and as soon as I bent down to pick her up, I just felt something go a small bit. I got a night's sleep then, and when I woke up, I was a bit tight and stiff," he explained.
"Since then it's been gradually getting better until now I feel okay. I could probably have joined in training this morning, but just sat it out for another day to let it settle.
"But as of tomorrow, I'm ready to crack on with the preparations and getting ready for the game."
"The game" is Ireland's Group E opener against Sweden on Monday night, and Brady is desperate to play against a side which includes star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and his Norwich team-mate Martin Olsson.
Since making his senior international debut against Oman in 2012, Brady has steadily grown in confidence at the top level.
His wonderful goal in Zenica against Bosnia in the first leg of the European Championship play-offs indicated his quality, and assistant manager Roy Keane has certainly been impressed.
"He's one of them characters, he's a bubbly lad but in a nice way - he's not too cocky and we all enjoy having him around," said Keane.
"He can play in a number of positions - left-back, the middle of the park, or the right side of midfield when he can come in and make things happen.
"He's an important player for us and a good character to have around the place. When you speak to him, it comes through in his voice how much playing for Ireland means to him, and that's always good to hear."
The football dream has always inspired Brady since he started to kick a ball around as a kid in Baldoyle in North Dublin, and on the verge of playing for his country in a major championship finals, he can't hide his excitement.
"It's mad to think it's starting on Friday night. It's crazy to think this is somewhere you always wanted to play and it's finally here," said Brady.
However, Ireland are there to win matches, and that's why the banter between Norwich trio Brady, Wes Hoolahan and Sweden's Olsson has been put on hold.
Speaking of Olsson, Brady said: "I spoke to him last week but it was nothing to do with the game, we just had a chat.
"Coming nearer to the game it's not laughs and jokes, it's serious business and we're all excited."
Relegation for Norwich was not part of the plan, but Brady is focused purely on international duty, and tips Hoolahan to shine in this tournament.
"He's an unbelievable footballer and light years above a lot of people I've played with in terms of his football brain. He's different class," said Brady.