Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Antrim boss Bradley could be target for Derry

Antrim County Board have confirmed that no nominations have been received so far for the roles of senior football and hurling managers, with the deadline the next meeting of the county committee on Monday.

With nominations open for the role of Derry football manager, a degree of uncertainty also hangs over the future of Antrim boss Liam Bradley.

Having brought the Saffrons to two successive promotions and an Ulster final in the first two years of his four-year stint, the father of Oak Leaf attackers Paddy and Eoin could be precisely what Derry require at this point in time and could be approached.

The present incumbent, John Brennan, has said that he will not stand in anyone's road.

“There was a nomination process last year,” recalled Antrim's public relations officer Brendan Mulgrew. “When Liam let it be known that he was content to stay on and we were content for that to be the case, there were no nominations received. The process was open.”

The case of the hurling manager's job was quite different, Jerry Wallace elected by the Coiste Bainistí (county management committee) over Dinny Cahill.

Mulgrew recounted: “Jerry Wallace was nominated when Dinny Cahill was still in position.

“Dinny was keen enough to stay on. Jerry was nominated, but then so was John Crossey.

“We went through a process and John eliminated himself before the other two guys stayed in the race and the county decided what direction they wanted to go.

“That's how they ended up with Jerry Wallace. It was a competitive process.”

He continued: “The same thing could have happened with the football in any of the last three years that Liam has been there.”

While the committee have not yet received any nominations, there is a curious game of brinkmanship to be played out.

Any potential candidate will be waiting to see who else makes a move first.

It is understood that for the role of hurling manager, Antrim would be keen to make an internal appointment, following a catastrophic season of unrest with Wallace quitting the job, then re-entering as coach, before finally leaving again. In the meantime, Jim Nelson took over as an interim appointment. He is keen to have some involvement in the next management team, but as a coach rather than as manager.

In the unlikely event that no nominations are sent in from the clubs, the Coiste Bainistí would take it upon themselves to actively seek out potential managers and then bring a recommendation back to a future county committee meeting.

l AFTER an initial take-up by over 400 clubs across Ireland last year, the Ulster Bank GAA Force initiative is expected to receive a flood of applications. Over 100 clubs received funding last year.

The top prize will again be a package worth £22,000 and four runners-up will receive support packages of £4,400 each.

Clubs can register now at www.ulsterbank.com/gaa. The first 100 to register will receive a support package of £100 and the deadline is October 5.

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