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New Year boost for Antrim boss Bradley

By John Campbell

A fresh fusion of youth and experience could prove a massive bonus for Antrim football manager Liam Bradley.

Gifted hurler Michael Armstrong has decided to commit himself to football next season while Michael Magill, who has worn the Saffron jersey with distinction in the past, is ready to challenge for his place in the attack again following a spell in England.

Armstrong, whose father Donal gave great service to Antrim as a player, had created a big impression in the county hurling team after he was given his chance by ex-boss Dinny Cahill but now the O’Donovan Rossa clubman is keen to make his pitch for recognition with the footballers.

Antrim liaison officer Tony McCollum believes that Armstrong will bring a fresh dimension of pace and invention to the forward line while he also sees the introduction of Colm Duffin (Moneyglass), Marty Johnston (Kickhams) and Patrick McBride (St John’s) to the squad as a considerable boost.

All have made an impact at Under 21 level and the Antrim management believe the players are now ready to cut their teeth at senior county level.

“Michael Armstrong has shown that he is a very talented dual player and we are delighted that he is going to commit himself to football,” said McCollum.

“And the fact that these three other young players are coming on board is an additional bonus, There is plenty of talent in Antrim still.”

Manager Bradley has made it clear that, given the pressures and self-sacrifices involved in being a county player nowadays, it is simply impossible to serve two masters.

“There was a time when players might have been able to play hurling and football for their county but that day is gone,” stated Bradley.

The return of Magill, a tenacious forward who is strong in possession and can both create and take scores, can add bite to the Saffrons front line.

“Michael has shown in the past just what he is capable of and he could prove a big help up front,” said McCollum.

“He is a very intelligent, inventive player who can help to bring out the best in those around him.”

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