HomeFootballKillyclogher boss Eoghan Bradley expecting stiff Omagh test

Killyclogher boss Eoghan Bradley expecting stiff Omagh test

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Killyclogher boss Eoghan Bradley has insisted that a big league win over Omagh will have no bearing on the derby championship clash of the teams later in the season.

The St Mary’s made the short trip to O’Neills Healy Park and inflicted a heavy nine-point defeat on their neighbours, with All-Ireland winning Tyrone U20 star Gavin Potter grabbing both goals.

But Bradley is expecting a stiffer challenge in the cut and thrust of straight knock-out O’Neill Cup combat from an Omagh team that was without three key players due to injury – top-scorer Ronan O’Neill, Tyrone defender Aidan Clarke and former Allstar Conor Meyler.

“We have Omagh in the championship in eight or nine weeks time and it will be a completely different team they will have set up, and it will be a completely different game,” he said.

“Omagh and Killyclogher know each other inside out. We know all the players. This was just about getting two league points and getting to the break.”

Former Tyrone players Mark Bradley, Tiernan McCann and Conal McCann are central to Killyclogher’s bid for a first championship title since 2016, but others who have also been in the Red Hand set-up – Matthew Murnaghan and Nathan Donnelly – are currently abroad and unavailable.

“Nathan Donnelly is in Australia, I’m not sure if he will be back or not. Ben Armstrong is in Australia as well, but other than that it’s just Mattie, who is in San Francisco.”

With a number of players jetting off on holidays in recent weeks, the early weeks of the new season have presented selection problems to the new manager.

But he has harnessed some of the club’s emerging young talent to make a promising start to the league campaign, with three wins and a draw from five outings placing them among the Division One table’s leading pack as the series halts for a fortnight.

“We have had a lot of men away, we have had the guts of nine men over the last three weeks on holidays, and different things happening.

“It’s just about getting boys back at this time of the year. With the schools finished, all the young lads are heading away on holidays, and we haven’t played a settled team yet.

“There were three new young lads who started who didn’t start last week, and there was five new lads last week, so it’s just a constant change.

“So we’re thankful for the two-week break, and hopefully that will be the holidays over and everybody back and committed again.”

Bradley gave more than 20 years service to Killyclogher as a player, but his last-minute appointment as manager was unplanned and something fo a surprise to the man himself.

He has committed himself to giving his all to the role, despite a heavy workload and constant demand elsewhere for the services of the highly rated strength and conditioning coach.

“It’s a different dynamic, but I’ve stood on the sideline a lot. I have been up with Mickey Moran in Slaughtneil for three years, I was with Dom Corrigan with loads of teams.

“But it’s different when you have to stand there and make decisions. It’s definitely a lot harder to be a manager than a player.

“At least out there you feel you have some control, but you have no control standing on the sideline.”

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