Jody Gormley galvanising Bredagh for surprise Ulster bid
When former Tyrone player Jody Gormley took over the reins at the Bredagh club in south Belfast, he thought it might take some time to unearth and then nurture playing talent.
But, by his own admission, Gormley had failed to account for the spirit, commitment and pride which underpin this ever-expanding GAA unit.
Right now, he finds himself preparing for a full-frontal assault on the Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship title with his scorer-in-chief having only mastered the rudiments of Gaelic football in comparatively recent times.
"It's true but it could only happen here at Bredagh," smiled Gormley, talking about Alan Davidson. "That's the great thing about this club - we have people from all walks of life, all backgrounds. I have been impressed from the outset, there is a tremendous air of goodwill here."
Davidson is the player who has perhaps done most to project Bredagh into the reckoning for the provincial intermediate title following their Down final triumph over An Riocht and their opening Ulster Club series win over Donegal champions Burt.
The south Belfast side go in against Monaghan champions Donaghmoyne on Sunday at Pairc Esler, Newry (12.45pm) conscious that a win would propel them into the last four.
Along with Donal Hughes, Davidson provides the cutting edge in a Bredagh attack that is helping to further raise the club's profile.
And Davidson, the former Ballymena United midfield player, believes he can pinpoint the reason why he is flourishing in Bredagh's colours.
"I think Jody is a very good manager and I like his outlook on the game. There are good players at this club, that is for sure," he said.
The mutual admiration society at Bredagh is certainly at full throttle with Gormley lauding Davidson's contribution but also highlighting his team's spirit.
"Obviously it's terrific that someone like Alan is making his mark but the team ethic is really what matters," stated Gormley.
Club captain Owen Costello feels that the experience gained through playing against two former All Stars will certainly benefit his side as they focus on more success.
It was in the Down final against An Riocht that Bredagh encountered Brendan McVeigh and Marty Clarke, players who had gained fame with the Mourne County - but not to the extent that they were able to inspire their team to success against Costello's fired-up outfit.
"We did not quite bargain for coming up against players of that calibre at intermediate level but we managed to win that Down decider and then we overcame Donegal champions Burt in our first game in the Ulster Club series," pointed out Costello.
"I have to be fair, though. Burt beat Milford in the Donegal decider just 24 hours before they met us."
With a club membership in excess of 800, a veritable army of teams spanning the various GAA codes and unbridled enthusiasm that is clearly contagious, the thriving Bredagh club gives the lie to the notion that Gaelic sports tend to prosper mainly in a rural environment.
Costello added: "Jody is a truly inspirational figure who has helped give the club a better profile and we hope to make as much progress as we can in the Ulster Club Championship."