Dedication is what you need says Cavan wing-back Ciaran Brady
CIARAN Brady produced a series of exciting attacking displays throughout Cavan’s Division Two promotion campaign, but he admits people may see him as ‘boring’ because of his dedication to Gaelic Football.
However, the 24-year-old primary school teacher – who scored 2-5 from wing-back - doesn’t really care. He begins his fourth Championship season against Donegal in Ballybofey on Sunday and says that living the life is the only way to make it as an inter-county football.
Twenty-one seasons on since their last provincial title, ‘Holla’ says it is time for the Breffnimen to step up.
“Some lads are dropping off, they’re not willing or able to give the commitment but the lads that are on county panels are the lads that want to play for their county, which is a good thing,” he said.
“It mightn’t always be the most talents lads, it’s the lads who really want to play and are willing to put in the effort to play.
“I come from a family that loves football; from a young age football was our thing. Some people might call you ‘boring’ because you’re putting everything into football but it’s my hobby, it’s what I love.
“If you want to be a top inter-county footballer you have to spend a lot of time with your football boots on practicing the skills of the game.”
Cavan bounced back from relegation in 2017 by winning promotion this year and Arvagh clubman Brady was one of the driving forces of the team, joining the attack to post important scores in six of the seven Division Two games.
“Football is becoming more attacking and Mattie (McGleenan, the manager) wanted to bring us on to the next level where we’d be racking up the big scores,” said Brady.
“You need to be scoring 2-12 in a game to win and it’s a race to get that score on the board.
“Cavan is steeped in football tradition but unfortunately we haven’t given them (the fans) anything to roar about in the last 20 years.
“Hopefully that might soon change.
“It wasn’t easy to get back up to Division One this year and it shows the character in the panel now, there is a bit of resilience and more of a backbone. We’re at the stage now where we need success.
“When we came out of the U21s we were probably waiting for it to come but didn’t grab it. Now we’ve realized that things don’t come that easy, you have to grab it. We had a good League and hopefully we can continue that form into the Championship.”
Cavan will replace relegated Donegal in Division One next year, but Brady is well aware that the Tir Chonaill men remain a potent threat in Ulster.
“They had big performances against Dublin and Kerry at the start of the year so I wouldn’t take anything out of them being relegated,” he said.
“Ulster might not be the most quality (provincial Championship) but it’s definitely the most competitive – we’ll have to win four games to win the Anglo-Celt Cup. You look at Connacht – Roscommon have Leitrim in the semi-final and then they’re in the final. It’s a lot more competitive, it’s a hard road for us and a hard start in Ballybofey.
“But a win is what we’re looking for and that’s what we’re going up there for and we’re chomping at the bit to get going.
“We beat Donegal in two Ulster U21 finals so we know them inside out. Unfortunately they’ve had the better of us at senior level but we’ve put in the hard yards and we’ll go to Ballybofey with our heads high and ready to perform.
“We’re focused on getting to Ulster final day in Clones and then the Super8s, the top eight teams in the country. We envisage ourselves playing Super8s come August.”