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Antrim keen on keeping Liam’s team

By John Campbell

Antrim manager Liam Bradley is expected to have talks with the county board within the next fortnight in relation to his future.

Chairman Jim Murray is keen to get Bradley to the table to map out the way forward although there is no formal indication yet that the Derry man will continue in the post.

Right now Bradley is focussed on his role as boss of the Glenullin side that will meet Loup in a Derry championship replay at Glen on Saturday.

The Loup side is managed by former Antrim player Kevin Madden who gave superb service to the Saffrons for many years, regularly finishing as their top scorer.

Bradley’s back room team this year comprised Paul McFlynn, Gearoid Adams and Andy Ward and it is understood that Antrim officials are keen to see this unit maintained.

An expert in physical fitness, McFlynn, who holds a senior post at the University of Ulster, Coleraine has brought an extra dimension to Antrim’s preparations since linking up with Bradley.

Selector Adams is in charge of the St John’s team that will meet O’Donovan Rossa in the Antrim football championship this week-end.

Adams formerly taught in Downpatrick but is currently working in Ballymena.

He enjoyed a lengthy career at wing-back for Antrim and was among the team’s most consistent players for the best part of a decade.

Former Ulster rugby captain Andy Ward, who shared in the memorable Heineken Cup triumph in 1999, has been Antrim’s strength and conditioning coach of late.

It is understood that Bradley wishes to discuss certain matters with county board officials and it is thought that if he decides to continue as Antrim manager he will retain the same backroom team.

Antrim liaison officer Tony McCollum points out that the internal championship competition is currently very much a preoccupation with all four members of the county management team.

“There are some very important games down for decision this week-end and county board matters are just on hold for the moment.

“But Liam will be meeting with officials shortly and we will then be in a better position to know what is happening,” adds McCollum.

Meanwhile, next Sunday is the deadline for nominations for the vacant post of Antrim hurling manager.

Following the exit of Jerry Wallace, former boss Jim Nelson was brought in on an interim basis to oversee the Ulster final and the All-Ireland qualifier against Limerick and having fulfiled his brief has now stepped aside.

The Antrim board is also seeking nominations for the position of county minor football team manager.

Chairman Murray says: “Obviously we are anxious to make these appointments as soon as we can but we will not be rushed just the same. It’s important that we get the right people.”

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