GAA Football

Tyrone's Mark Bradley focussed on Healy Park not Croke - for now

Tyrone's Mark Bradley (right) is hoping home advantage will help in the Ulster SFC against Monaghan. Pic Seamus Loughran
Kevin Kelly

TYRONE attacker Mark Bradley was part of the management team that guided Holy Trinity to Paddy Drummond Cup success at Croke Park last weekend and while he would love to be back at Croke Park with the Red Hands later this summer, his immediate thoughts are on a titanic Ulster SFC quarter-final with Monaghan.

Their May 20 meeting at Healy Park is the undoubted tie of the round in the Ulster series and the Killyclogher clubman is looking forward to being involved in his first home Championship clash at senior level.

“It’s going to be the first time that I will be involved in an Ulster senior game at Healy Park. Down, a few years ago, was the last home game that Tyrone got in the Championship,” said Mark.

“Healy Park hasn’t been a great spot for us this past couple of years but it is something that we have tried to correct as well and I think that we did rightly this year.

‘‘Home advantage means that we will have the majority of the support and it’s a venue that we know inside out, so obviously that is going to be an advantage and a big help hopefully.

“The Championship is where you want to be playing without a doubt. Sunny days, better weather and better pitches and no second chances when you are going for an Ulster championship.

‘‘Our first target, though, will be to try and get over Monaghan and we certainly won’t be looking beyond that.”

Both sides ended their respective Division One campaigns in impressive fashion, Tyrone beating Kerry and Monaghan ending the unbeaten run of a Dublin side who went on to retain their title.

“I will be concentrating on a few club games first but then it’s all about Monaghan and from a Tyrone point of view you can’t look any further ahead than that,” admits Bradley (pictured).

‘‘Monaghan have been flying during the League and they really look as though they have stepped it up from last year and they look like the toughest opponent in Ulster at the minute, so we have our work cut out and we are going to have to do a lot of work now in the next month or so.

‘‘Monaghan were the first team to beat Dublin in a long time, so we have it all to do.

‘‘They are a formidable side that are packed with super footballers and have been one of the top sides in Ulster for the past number of years.

‘‘Conor McManus is one of the best forwards in the country and with him around you always have to be on your guard.”

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