Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Bradley paid tribute to his players after they ended the club's 32-year wait for FAI Cup glory, and then predicted it will serve as a launchpad for more success.

The Hoops held their nerve to beat Dundalk on penalties after a dramatic game at the Aviva Stadium, which saw Michael Duffy force extra-time with the last kick of the ball just when it seemed Aaron McEneff's 90th-minute spot-kick had settled the contest.

Bradley was part of the Shamrock Rovers side that lost to Sligo Rovers on penos back in 2010 and he hailed his troops' mental strength as they scored all four of their kicks to win it, the Lilywhites missing twice.

"I'm absolutely delighted for the players, I'm delighted for the fans, for everyone who's associated with the club," Bradley told RTÉ Sport.

"I'm so proud of this group honestly, so proud of them The game was nearly over, Dundalk came back like they do because they're champions, and we stay in there. I'm unbelievably proud of the group.

"That's why Dundalk are champions. They don't stop, they keep going, but all credit to my players. They've been unbelievable all year. They stayed together and I'm delighted for them."

Duffy hit the bar in the shootout and Dan Cleary's effort was saved but Shamrock Rovers produced four efforts of high quality through Jack Byrne, Joey O'Brien, Greg Bolger and Gary O'Neill. They'd been well prepared.

"We had pratcised penalties and to be fair we had eight or nine that were really comfortable (to take one)," Bradley revealed.

"It wasn't an issue for us. All I do is put the players out there. It's up to them to go across that white line and have the character and the courage t play the way we play. They've done that today. They've beaten the champions, and I'm delighted."

Now the manager wants his men to kick on and ensure days like today are not so few and far between.

"For us as a group I just think it takes us to the next level," he added.

"We've been building, we've been getting better, we've been trying to catch Dundalk. Winning something gives you that belief and helps you grow as a team. We've gone and done that."