Eoghan Bradley answers the call at Killyclogher

By Niall Gartland

THE disappointment will linger for some time yet, but Tyrone’s senior intercounty footballers will get back on the wagon with their clubs at short notice following last Saturday’s All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final defeat to Roscommon.

Four of the five scheduled rounds of starred fixtures have been played at this juncture, but the county men have been permitted to line out for their clubs this coming weekend now that Tyrone’s All-Ireland tilt has come to an abrupt end.

One of the star performers in last Friday evening’s batch of fixtures was a former Tyrone star, Mark Bradley, who scored 10 points in Killyclogher’s hard-earned 2-13 to 1-14 win over an Ardboe side already in desperate need of points.

Killyclogher’s manager this year is Eoghan Bradley, another former county player who in recent years starred for the all-conquering Tyrone Masters team.

But when his home club came calling for a manager not long before the start of the All County Leagues, Bradley said that he couldn’t in good faith say no to them.

He said: “It’s not a job I thought I was going to take at this juncture, it was a bit last-minute. But your club’s your club and it’s very hard to walk away. My heart’s in Killyclogher and it’s hard to remove that emotion from it. The lads are training hard and I’m getting plenty of help from James McCrory and Niall McFadden, and Dermy Carlin is also taking the odd session.”

Killyclogher will welcome back All-Ireland U-20 winning captain Michael Rafferty this Friday evening when they travel to Gardrum Park to take on Dromore. He’s been part of the senior set-up in recent weeks and the club obviously have a keen interest in his progression.

“It’s brilliant for Michael, not everyone gets the chance to captain Tyrone to an All-Ireland and he’s a great ambassador for Killyclogher. We’re also delighted that he’s been brought into the Tyrone seniors but it’ll be good to have him back as well.”

Killyclogher had a number of excellent individual performances on the night against Ardboe last weekend. Mark Bradley was a constant threat up front, Tiernan McCann weighed in with 1-2 from midfield and young talent Gavin Potter pounced for an important second-half goal. They have quite a number of men on their travels at the moment, including Matthew Murnaghan, Nathan Donnelly and Jordan Barrett, so Bradley was happy enough to carve out any sort of result against Ardboe.

“I can’t remember ever getting anything easy against an Ardboe team and it certainly wasn’t any different tonight (Friday). We’d only two points ourselves going into the game so we’re relieved to get the win. I feel for them, I was chatting to their manager and they’re in the same situation as ourselves in terms of boys being away on holidays.”

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