Derry stars Eoin and Paul put Paddy in shade
The Bradleys are doing the business for Derry these days - but, strangely, one of them does not boast the christian name of Paddy.
Instead, it is the famous sharpshooter’s younger brother Eoin and Paul Bradley who are totally justifying the faith being shown in them by manager Damian Cassidy.
Each of them scored five points in Derry’s handsome win over Westmeath at the week-end and look set to continue in the attack for the forseeable future.
Their marksmanship, confidence and flair are cementing Derry’s bid to recover their stataus following a disappointing championship last year in the wake of their National League title coup.
Cassidy, an All Ireland winner in 1993, has reiterated that he is ‘experimenting’ in terms of selection for the National League and his adventurous stance is certainly paying dividends - for the moment at least.
An opening day win over Mayo and that comfortable victory over Westmeath, normally a difficult side to break down, suggests that the Oak Leaf side could now focus even more strongly perhaps on retaining their League crown.
But Cassidy, having emphasised that survival rather than success in the competition is his goal, is prepared to take each match as it comes, preferring to continue to implement his rotation system that so far has sparked real hope for the future.
“We have been trying to get the team to play to a certain pattern and we know that there is a lot of flair in the squad,” insists Cassidy.
He certainly has a point there. Derry have still to face Galway, Donegal, Tyrone, Kerry and Dublin and Cassidy plans to run the rule over even more players in these games.
Eoin Bradley is an enigmatic player who has made a big impact in Derry’s colours in the past without quite becoming an automatic first-choice campaigner.
With both Dublin and Westmeath still pointless in Division One, another victory would certainly go some distance to ensuring that Derry retain their Division One status.
And that will certainly be a first target achieved for Cassidy.