Tom Comack email@example.com @dgldemocrat
Mark Bradley, Tyrone’s stylish forward, is in his third season playing senior championship football with the Red Hand County.
The All-Ireland U-21 winner from 2015 is looking forward to facing Donegal for a third time in the senior championship. He made his championship debut against Donegal two years ago, in a preliminary round clash in Ballybofey.
“Donegal have been the bogey team for Tyrone in recent years,” said the 23-year-old Killyclogher clubman.
And despite last summer’s 0-13 to 0-11 Ulster final win over Donegal, Bradley is not convinced that Tyrone have fully laid the Donegal bogey.
“I wouldn’t quite say that we are over the hump yet.
“It was a very close game last year. It could have really went either way.
“Thankfully we were lucky enough to come out on the right side of the result.
“All those games have been close and it has taken spectacular scores to decide them. A wee bit of class that’s what it takes to decide them.”
In all those games, too, Donegal and Tyrone have set up defensively with the result that there is very little room for up front players.
But despite this for a man who’s stock in trade is to carve openings and create and kick scores, it does not faze him.
He is of an age, he insists, that he has known it no other way.
“There are not too many games you play nowadays that are open. Even at club level nowadays everyone is that well drilled and set up that you just have to get used to it.
“It is something I grew up with and even had in minor football.”
For Mark, the modern game dictates that you bid your time and be patient when in possession of the O’Neill’s number five.
“Being patient in possession is the main thing and when you do get a chance you try and make the most of it and either kick the score or create a score for someone else.”
The Killyclogher man believes it will be no different on Sunday.
“It was cagey in the first half last year, too, until Ryan McHugh kicked a couple of cracking long range points that put us on the back foot.
“I imagine it will be quite cagey again on Sunday.”