Bradley hails the work behind days likes these

By Michael McMullan

SOMETIME this week, Glen will have parked their celebrations to peek towards Kilmacud Crokes and putting their best foot forward in the All-Ireland series.

For Emmett Bradley, Sunday was “absolutely huge” and back-to-back Ulster titles needed basked in and he hailed those laying the foundations for magical days.

“It’s unbelievable, the work that is going on in our club at the minute,” he said. ”There is such a collection of good people involved there at the minute rowing everything in the right direction and they want to see people doing well.

“The players have really bought into it. We are going to really enjoy these next few days because these days don’t come around too often.”

When Glen won their first minor title in 2011, Bradley and Michael Warnock were the older players in a group that took the club’s underage success story to an unprecedented level.

“It was only three years ago that we hadn’t won a Derry (Senior) Championship,” Bradley added, putting their current spell in dreamland into perspective. “So we are not taking these days for granted and we really understand how lucky and privileged we are to be in this position to be able to compete at this level.

“We are really proud to be able to do it for the community, for the families and everybody involved in Glen club.”

Taking time to reflect on joining the illustrious group of seven teams to retain the Ulster title, Bradley spoke of the “unbelievable battle” he had stepped out of minutes earlier. The Watties got the Titanic showdown they braced themselves for.

They needed a late save from his older brother Connlan to steer a late blaster over the bar.

“They are ones that sometimes go in and boys like Kieran Hughes, he can pull the trigger. It was an important save and I have never been as happy to see a point going over the bar,” Bradley said of the finale.

“Scotstown are a serious team and everybody knows that. They would have really been gunning for this this year. They have come through some serious battles and they would’ve backed themselves going into this game. As they did, they had us on the ropes for a long time but thankfully our character shone through, as it always has.”

Bradley also pointed to the key moments that helped steer Glen over the line. He recited a litany of names. One was Conor Glass who broke a ball before taking a return from Cathal Mulholland to curl over a vital late score.

“We have developed a knack for being able to stay in these games, giving ourselves the opportunities to win it and thankfully that came to fruition,” Bradley said of a game Glen found themselves three points adrift in just seconds into the second half.

But they knew what was coming. Staying “hyper focused” was vital and staying in the game during the rocky spells counts for so much. The battles with Sleacht Néill and Magherafelt in the Derry Championship in recent seasons helped Glen develop a knack for winning.

He also referenced their win over Errigal Ciaran last year when they trotted into the dressing room in a tight corner before pulling themselves out of it again.

On Sunday, they were two points in arrears but are not fazed by these type of situations. They know there is still more in the tank.

“We probably got on top of their (Scotstown) kick-out,” Bradley said of Sunday’s Ulster final turnaround.

“I don’t think we played particularly badly in the first half. We have to give Scotstown great credit, they played really well and are a serious outfit with their seven or eight county players.

“They have the experience of being in this competition for the last 10 years and they certainly aren’t any walkovers.

“We got a good result against them two years ago and they’d have been gunning for this game and we were well up for it.

“They are incredibly well coached, they are just a great team and we are just delighted we were able to over the end line.”

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