DONEGAL MIDFIELDER RYAN Bradley has backed the decision to defer this weekend’s club championship games in the county in order to assist with Jimmy McGuinness’s team’s preparation for their upcoming All-Ireland semi-final tie with Cork on August 25th.
Some members of the Ulster champions squad may have club league games but will avoid the intensity and hard-hitting of local championship combat.
“We’re over the moon with that,” revealed Bradley when speaking to TheScore.ie at the announcement yesterday in Croke Park that he was crowned the GAA/GPA Player of the Month in association with Opel for July. ”We were trying hard to get them postponed. It probably makes sense. Neil Gallagher got hurt with his ankle after league matches this year and Leo McLoone missed out with a broken cheekbone in club championship. It gives us better preparation for the Cork game and it is needed.
“We might be having league games. It wouldn’t be as intense as the club championship. I think it gives us a better chance at preparing for Cork. Most of the clubs have backed us. A couple of weeks ago, before the Ulster final, we had more bother trying to get the games called off but I think they are happy enough and are behind us and they are looking forward to the Cork game as much as we are.”
Bradley admitted that last weekend’s quarter-final victory over Kerry was a hugely significant one for Donegal.
“I think it was. When you’re training all year that’s what you look forward to, playing Kerry in Croke Park. When we got the draw we were happy enough to test ourselves against Kerry, we weren’t overawed by it. We were looking forward to it more than anything else. Probably beating Kerry has been the highlight of our year so far.
“They were probably the best team in the country in the last ten years and they have some unbelievable footballers. To get over the line against them is a big achievement for Donegal.”