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Michael McCann backs Liam Bradley's Antrim return

By John Campbell

A player who could form what many Antrim followers would view as a dream midfield partnership is among those who support the return of Liam Bradley to the Saffrons' managerial role.

Michael McCann has given outstanding service to the county for the best part of a decade, but stepped aside when former boss Frank Dawson axed his brother Tomas and Tony Scullion from the squad for an Allianz League game earlier this year after they sought permission to attend a church service on the morning of the match.

Since then Michael has concentrated on building up his now flourishing METT fitness suite near Toome, but he could be in line for a recall to county action – business commitments permitting, that is – should Bradley's appointment be confirmed at tonight's county board meeting.

"I think there would be a widespread welcome for a return by Liam Bradley," said McCann.

"He made an impact for the four years he was in charge and the highlight was when he took the team to the 2009 Ulster final when they lost to Tyrone."

The possible link-up of McCann and Niall McKeever, who has returned from his sojourn in Australian Rules Football, at midfield is one of the enticing possibilities that is helping to dispel the gloom which has engulfed the county of late.

Both were in the side that wrote such an exciting chapter in Antrim's recent history four years ago and their combined experience would bolster any potential new panel which, if chosen, can begin training on November 15.

Under Dawson Antrim dropped into Division Four of the league and lost to Monaghan in the Ulster Championship before falling to Louth in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

With Bradley expected to be given a second term in charge, county board officials are understandably anxious to draw a line under the recent past.

And so, too, are a number of players who felt they did not get a decent crack of the whip during Dawson's regime.

"No matter what people may think, players are always proud to pull on the county jersey and give of their best," added McCann.

"The priority would be for the team to get out of Division Four.

"Under Liam Bradley in the past Antrim got promotion twice so this shows what can be achieved."

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