Thursday 22 February 2018

Bradley quits Derry panel after being dropped for Carlow game

PADDY Bradley has quit the Derry panel after being dropped from the team for today's All-Ireland qualifier with Carlow.

When contacted yesterday, Bradley declined to comment, but well-placed sources within the camp have confirmed that he will not be on the team-sheet today.

It's believed the prolific former All Star forward was told at training on Thursday night he would not be in the starting line-up.

He then left Owenbeg and will not travel with the squad to Dr Cullen Park for the first-round qualifier with Luke Dempsey's Barrowsiders.

Bradley had recently been quoted as saying he was considering his future beyond the end of this season, a story which manager Damian Cassidy said had been "taken out of context".

Cassidy last night denied that Bradley has left the squad.

The news comes almost a year to the week when Bradley left the Derry panel before their qualifier with Monaghan, when he cited personal reasons for his decision to quit, but was talked into returning to score 2-8 against the Farneymen.

However, he has struggled with injury over the past couple of years. He missed the start of this year's National League campaign and was subdued during Derry's championship defeat to Armagh at Celtic Park in May.


Bradley's decision leaves Cassidy with a selection headache -- as he is already without Patsy Bradley and Michael Bateson, and fitness doubts hang over Fergal Doherty, Gerard O'Kane and Barry McGuigan.

It's believed Bradley's decision will not affect his brother, Eoin, who will remain as part of the team and travel to Carlow.

But the news does represent a massive blow to Derry's hopes of building a run through the qualifiers. The Oak Leaf starting 15 has not been announced, but it is believed Enda Muldoon and Charlie Kielt are available for selection after recovering from injury, while hurling star Ruairi Convery has been called into squad.

Meanwhile, Cavan's team for their qualifier against Wicklow at Breffni Park shows five changes from the Ulster SFC defeat by Fermanagh.

Star-forward Seanie Johnston is not named in the starting line-up, with Martin Reilly selected at left full-forward, although Johnston is included in the substitutes.

The half-back line is entirely changed with Michael Hannon, Michael Brides and John McCutcheon replacing Martin Cahill, injured Mark McKeever and Paul Brady, who is unavailable because of handball commitments.

Midfielder David Givney -- arguably Cavan's best player against Fermanagh -- is ruled out by an ankle injury so Lorcan Mulvey will start at midfield.

Irish Independent

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