By Michael McMullan
WINNING back-to-back titles has generated plenty of interest in Glenullin who take on Ballyhaise in Saturday’s Ulster semi-final at O’Neill’s Healy Park.
With Derry invoking a promotion freeze as part of their championship restructure, the ‘Glen were back in the intermediate ranks and took aim at retaining their title.
“I get a lot out of it, especially for the youth to see us doing something for the community and for the team,” said midfielder Traglach Bradley, joint captain with Neil McNicholl.
“I have a wee girl in the local school and it means everything to go in there and see the smiles on the faces.
“As far as they are concerned, we are superstars but we are just normal people.”
Bradley, a teenager when Glenullin won the 2007 senior title, hails the buzz in the community and can relate to the younger members chatting to the current team around the pitch.
“Like in any club, when you are doing well the interest is there for the youth,” he added.
“It is easier for people to get involved when it is going well. There were a lot of years where some of the older boys were keeping it going.
“Now we have hit a patch when there are a good crop of players coming through and next year there will be a few more boys.
“There are players coming through at a more steady pace and when the youth see the senior success it helps drive them on and they want to be involved.”
Belief has been the main ingredient in Glenullin’s last two seasons. They’ve played an exciting brand of football, yet needed the gritty side to pull themselves out of tight spots.
Bradley never felt they were going to lose at any point and he uses the word confidence more than arrogance to describe their inner belief.
Another important factor has been the injection of youth and the extra legs it has brought down the final furlong in games.
“There was a bit of belief in the team and on our day we’ll put it up to anybody,” Bradley added.
“I just think we got over the line against Banagher and we decided we weren’t finished yet.”
Bradley’s 32nd-minute goal shot them on the way to a comfortable win over Glenravel and now it’s Ballyhaise coming down the tracks on Saturday.
“Our preparations will be the same as it always is. We will have to focus on ourselves to get things right,” he said.
“It is a fool who understates their opponent so we definitely won’t be doing that.
“They will be good opposition but we’ll get our own house in order and go from there.”