Belfast Telegraph

Eoin Bradley a boost for Irish league

By Steven Beacom

Derry GAA star Eoin Bradley has made a major impression on Irish League football.

He now has 10 goals for the season with the prospect of more to come.

Even when Coleraine were going through a desperate run of defeats, he was the one player who offered hope to the Bannsiders.

Initially brought in on a short term deal, Bradley recently signed to stay on for the remainder of the season, causing a stir in his native county with former All-Ireland winner Joe Brolly, in particular, scathing about Eoin's decision.

Reason? Well, with Derry boss Brian McIver deciding Bradley can't play both sports at the same time, the Oak Leaf outfit will be without their best player for the forthcoming National Football League campaign.

Whether his absence will extend to the Ulster Championship remains to be seen.

Strong, committed and with a deft touch when opportunities present themselves, Bradley brings a fearlessness and freshness to the Irish League.

He's not the first GAA player to be successful in the local game.

Portadown hero Joey Cunningham was another who shone in both codes. Down All-Ireland winner Peter Withnell was a force to be reckoned with at Cliftonville and lately Fermanagh's Shane McCabe has starred in Irish League circles.

The training in gaelic games is so intense nowadays that GAA stars are fitter than part-time Irish League players, so right away they have an edge and with practice their footballing skills can be enhanced.

Could it work the other way? Not so sure because many Irish League players have never played GAA, seriously or for fun, in their lives.

It would certainly be interesting finding out.

Belfast Telegraph

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