ROBBIE Brady was delighted to follow in the footsteps of some of Irish football's biggest names after being named senior player of the year at the Football Association of Ireland's annual awards.
It was a night to remember for Burnley's record signing as he scooped three awards in Dublin on Sunday night.
The 25-year-old was also named young player of the year for the second time in a row and he scooped goal of the year for his late winning header against Italy in Euro 2016, a goal which helped the Republic of Ireland qualify the knockout stages with a win over the Azzurri.
But it was the senior award which meant the most to Burnley's £13million man as he followed in the likes of Paul McGrath, John Aldridge, Steve Staunton, Roy Keane, Shay Given and Robbie Keane in taking the top honour.
"I think the main one for me was senior player because so many great players have won it,” said Brady. “For me to get my hands on that award, like I said, no one can take it away me now that I have it.
"That was an important one for me. The ‘young player’, I’m 25-years of age now, I picked that one up last year so the senior one meant more for me this time around. Like I said, it’s an honour to pick up the three."
Brady also revealed he would never get tired of watching his goal against Italy.
"I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it. It’s hard to watch because the emotions that went with it in that tournament was something I’ve never experienced," he said.
"I have loads of different pictures of the goal, paintings and all sorts. My gaff isn’t plastered with memorabilia of myself, but in my mam’s house and my gran’s house they all have a little piece of the tournament."
Brady was nominated alongside his Burnley teammate Jeff Hendrick for both the senior and young player of the year.
Hendrick and the third Burnley player in the Ireland squad, Stephen Ward, could face Sam Vokes and Wales on Friday night in a crucial World Cup qualifier, but Brady will miss the Aviva Stadium clash through suspension.
“I’m devastated I’m going to be missing the game, especially in the last few weeks with all the build up as it’s all everyone is talking about," he said.
"I’m not a good watcher of games as it is. With this one, it will be a hard one for me to take on Friday night. It’s not about me on Friday night, it’s about the lads, I’ll be in training with them and trying to get them ready.
“I love coming in here, though. Seamus (Coleman) said there was a massive gap since we last met up, but it’s such a tight knit group, it’s amazing to come back to such a fantastic set-up. Any opportunity to get in with this group, I’ll take it with both hands. If that means just training this week to get ready for Friday’s game with a view to playing next Tuesday, I’m happy with that.”