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Scullion relishing new roles with Antrim

By John Campbell

Tony Scullion currently finds himself fulfilling a two-fold role for unbeaten Antrim in Division Three of the National Football League.

Not only is he proving a more than capable stand-in skipper for Colin Brady while the latter focuses on the St Gall’s bid for All Ireland Club glory but he is also revelling in the roving commission he has been handed by manager Liam Bradley.

When the Saffrons gained promotion last year before taking the Ulster Championship by storm, Cargin clubman Scullion was a conventional wing-back, a dynamic force within the side.

Today he is more likely to be found in the threequarter line providing support for the team’s frontrunners and still finding time to assist his defence.

When he leads his men out against Roscommon tomorrow he will do so conscious that a fourth league win on the trot will firmly thrust them into the promotion frame.

“People may say that Roscommon have not won a game yet but they put on a big score against Offaly last week and were only beaten by a point by Fermanagh,” says Scullion. “That’s warning enough for us.”

Aaron Douglas is set to continue at full-back and James Loughrey will be in his familiar wing-back berth.

Even though Paul Doherty is still out injured, manager Bradley has been able to field a fairly settled team since the start of the league although he will continue to rotate the goalkeeping role with John Finucane getting the nod this time for the trip to Dr Hyde Park.

Tomas McCann is rapidly maturing as a quality forward and his searing pace has ensured that opposing defences have been kept at full stretch so far.

No wonder his colleagues and all Antrim fans indeed are happy that the UUJ student decided earlier in the year to turn his back on a possible career in Australian Rules football.

His brother Michael — having lapped up his tenure in the full-forward position last year — is now forming a fluent partnership with Brendan Herron in the middle while the revitalised Michael Magill continues to exhibit his strong ball-winning skills and finishing powers in the number 14 shirt.

Magill’s ability to hold the ball up, find space and make telling passes has been one of the features of Antrim’s attacking play this year and manager Bradley feels there is more to come from his stocky target man.

Roscommon manager Fergal O’Donnell believes with some justification that his side have been denied a rub of the green in the competition to date — but Antrim fans hope that this will remain his lament after tomorrow’s big contest.

Belfast Telegraph

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