Paddy Bradley would love Derry return if Brian McIver quit

Former Derry All-Star footballer Paddy Bradley has lashed out at manager Brian McIver ahead of the county’s crucial Ulster championship semi-final against Donegal on Saturday.

Paddy Bradley would love Derry return if Brian McIver quit

The 34-year old, whose brother Eoin shot five points in Derry’s quarter-final win over Down, thinks that McIver will be taught a lesson by Ulster champions Donegal in Clones at the weekend.

And Bradley believes he could still do a job for Derry if given the chance and has not ruled out a return if McIver is replaced after this season.

Bradley is the top scorer in the Derry league this year where he has hit 4-37 in eight games for the 2007 county champions John Mitchel’s Glenullin.

He has not featured at inter-county level since McIver took the reins of the Oak Leaf men in 2012

However he is adamant he would love to return to the county colours.

“No different to anyone else as an ex-county player, in the year or two after you retire... well I haven’t officially retired I just wasn’t picked... you feel that you could still give something,” Bradley told Shannonside FM.

“But the Derry management have taken the decision that I haven’t anything to offer. I would say given the chance I probably would, I’m playing good enough club football. The fact that I had two cruciate knee injuries, I was written off too early.

“I made a point in my own head I was going to come back and prove people wrong and I was hoping that I would get the opportunity to play on that stage again but it never came and probably at this stage it will never come again.”

Bradley argues the tactical acumen of Donegal supremo Rory Gallagher will prove the trump card in Saturday’s semi-final.

“There is no doubt Derry will pose a good challenge to Donegal, last year they played them in Celtic Park, preparation wasn’t going too well and Eoin wasn’t there but they ran them to a couple of points.

“Donegal do seem to be a different animal this year but Derry will mirror them in the way that they set up and Eoin and Mark Lynch, if they get them enough of ball, the two boys are good enough to win frees and kick over a lot of scores.

“The one reason that I see Derry struggling in that game is tactically along the line.

“This is maybe where Brian McIver struggles. Rory Gallagher; the Donegal players are raving about him with regards to how tactically astute he is along the line.”

Bradley won league titles with Derry in 2000 and 2008 and collected his All Star award in 2007 but now he fears the right players aren’t being picked to play for Derry.

“Brian McIver has gone for a lot of boys that are good at doing the bleep test, that have good stamina, that have good endurance.

“You look at the half-back line and the half-forward line of Derry – it is not necessarily boys that can put the ball over the bar or boys that are very skilful.

“In the Derry leagues this year I am the top scorer and playing good enough football. Out of the top ten scorers in Division 1, 2 and 3, Cailean O’Boyle was the only one on the Derry panel.

“It is strange because it is not as if Derry are blessed with good forwards.”

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