Jimmy Bradley says ‘experience’ guided Cockhill Celtic to another Ulster Senior League and League Cup double this season.
Cockhill became the first side to win the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League and the Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup in five successive seasons.
Bradley – who has been confirmed this evening as the latest Watson Menswear Player of the Month – netted vital goals as Cockhill retained their crowns, scoring the winner in a 1-0 win at Bonagee in the League and it was he who bagged the only goal of the game in the League Cup final win over Derry City Reserves.
“It came good for me at the end of the year. I had a slow enough start to the season, but I’ve been playing a lot better in the last couple of months. I got a couple of big goals. They were easy taps-in, but I suppose you still have to be there!
“The win in Bonagee kind of turned the momentum of the season a wee bit. We weren’t scoring goals, but we were missing key players. That win at Bonagee gave us a big lift”
Cockhill were threatening to runaway with the USL race at the Christmas break, but ended up staving off Letterkenny Rovers by just three points.
“It was a tough year,” Bradley – who ended the season as his team’s top scorer - said.
“We ended up with a very small squad because of injuries. We were down to the bare bones, but we dug in and got the job done. The injuries added up and took a big toll on us.
Experience got through more so than in any other year. Men dug in and some played maybe when they shouldn’t have, but we just had to do.”
Cockhill are in a real golden age and their record of five doubles in a row has never been achieved before.
However, Bradley believes it will only be in the future that their achievements will really be appreciated
He said: “We might be taken for granted a wee bit because we’ve been winning so much in these Cups and Leagues. It’s only now maybe when you look back at that great Fanad team that you start to realise how good they were.“
The Watson Menswear Player of the Month is presented in conjunction with Watson Menswear, Main Street, Letterkenny.
September: Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves)
October: Peter Doherty (Cockhill Celtic)
November: Shaun McElwaine (Fanad United)
January: Tony McNamee (Swilly Rovers)
February: Oisin McColgan (Cockhill Celtic)
March: Paul Boyle (Letterkenny Rovers)
April/May: Jimmy Bradley (Cockhill Celtic)