Northern Ireland news

Co Tyrone GAA club's 'immense pride' as Conor Bradley makes Liverpool debut

Liverpool's Conor Bradley during the Carabao Cup third round match at Carrow Road, Norwich. Picture by Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A CO Tyrone GAA club has told of its "immense pride" for rising football star Conor Bradley as he made his competitive debut for Liverpool FC.

The 18-year-old from Aghyaran was selected by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to play in the Carabao Cup game against Norwich on Tuesday. The teenager became the first Northern Ireland player since Sammy Smyth in 1954 to play a competitive game for the Reds.

It comes two years after the avid sports star left Aghyaran St Davogs GAA club to make the move to Liverpool, aged just 15.

He had played with the Gaelic club since he was seven and was regarded as a "really good player" and a "role model".

Read More: 'This kid, I’m telling you, he’s something else': Charting the rise and rise of Conor Bradley

As Klopp heaped praise on the teen after the match, Aghyaran St Davogs GFC also said it was delighted to see Bradley make his debut.

"Everyone at Aghyaran GAC are filled with immense pride tonight with Conor Bradley making his full professional debut with LFC in tonight’s 3-0 win v Norwich," the club said on Twitter.

"Conor played with the same determination and quality that he showcased so consistently in our club colours."

The Tyrone club hosted an emotional send-off to the teenager in 2019 after he had agreed a two-year deal with Liverpool.

Speaking at the time, club chairman Sean Byrne said Bradley's "attitude has always been spot on, he was always destined to be great, whatever code of sport he chose".

A former Omagh Christian Brothers School pupil, Bradley joined Liverpool from Dungannon Swifts and recently also made his senior competitive debut for Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualifier against Switzerland.

Speaking after the match against Norwich, Klopp said Bradley "played a super game".

"Make a mistake, especially for Conor when it’s in the other box, dribble - he’s a cheeky boy, so go in there, don’t only play safe passes or whatever - and he did really well," he told LFCTV.

"It was an incredibly intense game for him, defending-wise.

"I was really surprised that he could stay on."

Full of praise for Bradley and another two debutants, Kaide Gordon (16) and Tyler Morton (18), Klopp added: "The kids did exceptionally well, I have to say""

"I’m really happy for them, it was a big moment for these boys."

When told that Bradley was the first Northern Irish player to make a competitive appearance for the club in 67 years, Klopp joked: "Somebody should have told me that before, then I probably would have brought him in earlier."

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