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McEniff is still the best for Ulster

By John Campbell

The Ulster Council is unlikely to rush into appointing a successor to provincial football team boss Brian McEniff - and for a very good reason too.

McEniff steered Ulster to their 14th inter-provincial triumph during his reign of command at the weekend, having intimated earlier that this would be his swansong.

Those who know the former Donegal All Ireland winning boss are aware of his colossal appetite for everything connected with Gaelic football.

There is hardly a championship match of any significance at which McEniff is not a spectator nor is there any event which does not have his wholehearted support.

He may be a busy hotelier, but the Bundoran legend - who won his first Ulster championship medal as far back as 1972 - still makes time for his sporting passion.

His loyalty to players over the course of his career as Ulster manager is legendary, his enthusiasm infectious and his pride in the province absolute.

And while he has indicated that he is willing to exit the big stage, it seems more probable than possible that Ulster council officials may be keen to persuade him to stay.

The inter-provincial championship, an ailing competition which many claim should have been scrapped before now, attracted 10,000 people to Croke Park for finals day on Saturday.

In the vast environs of the stadium, the crowd was 'lost.'

Yet had the hurling and football finals been staged at a provincial venue, a 10,000-strong gallery might have been deemed a very decent attendance in the current circumstances.

People like McEniff have helped to keep the home fires burning - it remains to be seen if there are others who are prepared to follow his example.

Meanwhile, the Bradley family from Glenullin will have a front stage role when Newtownbutler visit Celtic Park, Derry on Sunday for an Ulster Club championship quarter-final.

Liam Bradley will be in charge of the Glenullin side while his sons Paddy and Eoin will be key figures in attack for what will be the team's first match in the competition in half a century.

With Paddy Bradley having just collected a triple honours bonanza - a Derry championship medal, an Allstar and an inter provincial medal - success has certainly infiltrated the Bradley household in a big way.

Dad Liam, however, is very focused on the Ulster club title.

"There are some very good sides in there including All Ireland champions Crossmaglen Rangers," said Liam.

"Newtownbutler showed themselves to be a strong side when winning the Fermanagh Championship and they will provide us with a big test."

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