Belfast Telegraph

Oran Kearney won't influence Eoin Bradley's call

Oran Kearney is refusing to get involved in a tug-of-war with the Derry GAA team over striker Eoin Bradley.

Derry boss Brian McIlver is understood to want Bradley in his squad when the Dr McKenna Cup kicks-off in January, but won't sanction him combining being involved with the county team while playing for Coleraine.

Bradley is on a hot streak with the Bannsiders, scoring five times in eight appearances, including goals in each of his last three games.

Kearney won't be placing any demands on Bradley and will instead allow the 29-year-old to make his own decision, but he is hoping that his player's current form will encourage him to stay at the Showgrounds.

"There will be no mind-games or skulduggery from our end. Eoin is welcome to stay with us and see out his contract, which runs until the end of the season," said Kearney.

"At the same time if he comes to me and says that he wants to go back to GAA then he will go with our blessing.

"It's similar to the situation with Stephen Lowry in the summer when Linfield wanted to sign him. We agreed a fee for Stephen, he spoke to them and he made his own decision to stay with us.

"Although players are under contract I don't own them as such. I have told them that when they finish playing I want them to be able to look back at their career as being dictated by their own decisions, not decisions that I made as their manager.

"I haven't had a conversation with Eoin about the matter, but I did speak to him a couple of weeks ago and he told me he is loving it at Coleraine.

"He said that he's enjoying himself more than he thought he would and he is very settled at the club and gets on very well with everyone."

Only one of Bradley's recent goals has helped Coleraine to put points on the board as they have developed a worrying habit of letting leads slip away.

Kearney, however, can see a way out of their current rut.

"People might laugh at me when I say this, but performance wise we are playing as well as at any time during my time at the club," said Kearney.

"We're maybe switching off for a matter of seconds and that's costing us games, but if we keep working hard and keep the belief we'll overcome it."

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