Emmett Bradley relaxed over Glen's back-to-back victories
IT WAS Derry's All-Ireland winning year of 1993 the last time Glen won back-to-back senior club championship games prior to last weekend, but their young midfielder Emmett Bradley isn't getting carried away.
At 23, he was the third oldest player on their starting team behind experienced duo Philip O’Connell and John McCamley. Having captained the first of their four Ulster minor club-winning teams in 2011, he and Michael Warnock were the two leading graduates of a crop of players who carry great hope around Maghera.
Their use of the kick-pass in their counter-attacking play proved too much for a more experienced Dungiven side to handle as, having beaten Swatragh in the preliminary round, Glen secured a quarter-final against either Loup or Glenullin.
“It was good to go into it with a game under our belts in the preliminary round, we got used to the pitch. We were pleased enough with the performance,” said Bradley, who kicked six points.
“It can only be good. You get a good break between the games and games always beat training, so you won’t complain.”
Their style of play has been built through their underage exploits, which the likes of current senior boss Enda Gormley and former Derry defender Fergal McCusker helped implement. Gormley’s return to the sideline this season has aided their improvement, but Bradley puts it mostly down to their work ethic in games.
“He demands high standards and we try to deliver as best we can. But [kick-passing] is something we just try to do, it’s not new to us. We’re used to doing it. It comes down to working hard as well. That’s a big factor. If you don’t work hard, you won’t be able to get away with that style of play.”
While the Watty’s remain outsiders for a tilt at what would be a first ever John McLaughlin Cup, Bradley took heart from a league campaign that included wins over Ballinderry, Coleraine, Dungiven and reigning county champions Slaughtneil.
“The league was good for us. There were a lot of good tests against teams that usually would have beaten us down the years and we started to get results against them," he added.
“It’s good for the younger players, good for myself as well. Hopefully, we can keep building on it.”