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Brush sweeps from dole to Euro spotlight

ONE MINUTE you're signing on at the dole office and before you know it you're standing in front of 24,782 fans at White Hart Lane.

For a player whose career was almost ended by a serious hand injury, Richard Brush underlined the powers of redemption as he pulled off a string of saves for Shamrock Rovers in last night's Europa League game away to Tottenham.

Sadly for him and his team-mates, as well as the ones he kept out, Spurs still managed to score three.

As early as the second minute of the game, former Sligo Rovers man Brush knew he was in for a busy night as he denied Giovani Dos Santos. The |English-born keeper managed to go as far as the 60th minute with a clean sheet, only to be hit with a London blitz as Spurs, inspired by half-time sub Andros Townsend and with |Mexican star Dos Santos a real threat, slammed in three goals in the space of six minutes.

“It is a massive step up in class and we had defended for so long in the game that tiredness set in, and you get punished at this level if you switch off for a second,” Brush admitted after the game.

“They worked their goals well, they have the quality to do that. We got away with it a couple of times but their first goal was coming and before we knew it they had three goals.

“I had a busy night but I knew that would be the case before the game. The lads in front of me in the team were amazing, their work-rate was exceptional. They were a very tricky side to deal with and the back four were able to deal with their front two for a long part of the game – their movement was so hard to cope with but the boys did it for as long as they could,” added Brush, who was given the nod to play in goal after Ryan Thompson's muscle injury failed to heal in time.

Despite the concession of three goals it was remarkable for Brush to be simply playing at all, as a |combination of a hand injury and the end of his contract with Sligo Rovers had put him out of the game.

“A few months ago I was on the dole, scraping about and wondering if I'd even get back playing at all, and now here I am playing in a European game at White Hart Lane.

“For me, it's great just to be involved and be playing in games like this,” he told the Herald.