EOIN BRADLEY WOULD be welcomed back into the Derry football fold with open arms.
That’s the view of Derry player Mark Lynch as the Oak Leaf county get set for a league campaign without Bradley as he is tied up with soccer commitments with Coleraine.
It was announced earlier this month that Bradley had agreed a new contract with the Irish League outfit which will tie him up until May. That ruled him out of Derry’s Dr McKenna Cup campaign, which concluded with a semi-final loss to Tyrone last weekend, and he’ll miss their Division 1 league campaign which commences on Saturday week against Mickey Harte’s men.
Derry take on Donegal in their Ulster quarter-final at the end of May and Bradley will be available for selection by manager Brian McIver. Lynch is hopeful that he will return to the fold at some juncture.
“Of course we’d be glad to get Eoin back. He’s a super player. We’d really like to have him. He’s playing really well in the soccer. The door’s open for him and we’ll see where it takes us.
“I’d hope to see him back and he’d be a great option to have up front. But we’ve a good few players playing really well in attack. Aaron Kerrigan, Anthoyn O’Neill, Ciaran McFaul and Benny Heron are young lads who are doing well. They’ve stepped up for us.”
After celebrating promotion last year from Division 2, Derry are getting set for life in Division 1 this spring. They have a tough start with a home tie against Tyrone on February 1st, which will be broadcast live on Setanta Sports 1, followed by a trip to take on Kerry on February 9th.
Lynch believes that exposure to Division 1 football will aid his side.
“It’s going to be a massive step up against the top teams in the country. It’s a massive challenge for the young squad we have but it’s something you aspire to. We’re looking forward to it though.
“I think it’ll stand to us. Last year we played Down in the championship. They were coming in as a Division 1 side and you could see that with the pace and power they had. That came from playing all those games at that level. You have to try to take all the positives from the situation and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”