Belfast Telegraph

Eoin Bradley admits he thought Irish Cup final dream would pass him by

By Ian Callender

Eoin Bradley can't wait to savour his first Irish Cup final but he admits his Gaelic football adventures this season could have wrecked that dream.

The 32-year-old has been battling for his GAA club Glenullin this season as well as terrorising defences in Glenavon colours.

At times it's been a difficult balancing act for the man who missed the semi-final against Crusaders after being hit with a six-game suspension following an alleged headbutt on Colin Coates. But there's a golden opportunity for Bradley to sign off the season in sensational style and the stage is set for him to write another glorious chapter in his sporting career.

"It's my first cup final and truthfully I never thought I'd be involved in one because of the Gaelic but I'm really looking forward to it and there is a bus coming up with all the family on it," admitted Bradley. "We're looking forward to it. There is a buzz about the club and I'm no different.

"We won the cup two years ago, beating Ballymena in the final, after beating Crusaders in the semi-final so hopefully it's a good omen. It will be a great day."

Bradley (right) admits Linfield are the favourites to secure their first Irish Cup since 2012 but the Lurgan Blues won't be arriving at the international venue to make up the numbers. "It's a cup final - Linfield are favourites on their home pitch but we know what we can do, and will turn up and hope to do ourselves, our fans and the club proud," he added.

"We won the semi-final at Windsor and although I missed that match, it was a great performance against Crusaders and if we have another one of those games it would be great. But it's all about what happens on the day.

"The Blues have been flying in the last four games in the league but it's a cup final, and in front of a big crowd the pressure will be on them. They are expected to win, they are used to winning trophies every year but it's a big day out for everyone.

"After securing European football the pressure is off us and there are many good young players in the squad now."

•BALLYMENA United boss David Jeffrey has signed defender Kyle Owens from Knockbreda and striker Cathair Friel from Limavady, while Willie Faulkner has signed a one-year extension.

Belfast Telegraph


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