In a wonderful gesture young Liverpool starlet Conor Bradley was the main sponsor of his local club’s glamour Irish Cup tie with high-flying Glentoran at the weekend.
It was a big day out for fans and players of Dergview FC, and Bradley who was brought up only 2 miles from the club’s modest, little Darragh Park ground was happy to lend his support.
In the specially produced match day programme Bradley (18) had this message to fans...
“I have played against both clubs and know how good you can be and how passionate you all are about football. I hope everyone enjoys the game and it’s played in good spirits.
“My message to Dergview is the same as Jurgen Klopp said when he first came to Liverpool FC - “ We have to change from doubters to believers.”
Bradley’s hopes were realized. After a comfortable first-half in which the Premiership side went in two goals to the good, his Dergview friends turned the match into a real cup-tie. They dug in, controlled the second-half and even managed to haul themselves level at 2-2 with five minutes left on the clock.
Sadly however for the Championship outfit with the game seemingly headed for another 30 minutes, Sean Murray pounced within 67 seconds of the equalizer, his debut goal sending Glentoran into round 2.
Earlier this season Bradley became the first Northern Irishman to play a competitive game for Liverpool since Sammy Smyth 67 years before.
After featuring in the weekend’s 4-1 defeat of Shrewsbury in the FA Cup, he’s now taken his first-team appearances for Liverpool to 5; EFL Cup (3), Champions League (1), FA Cup (1). There have also been 5 full international caps for Northern Ireland.
Just this weekend former Liverpool great Alan Kennedy had words of encouragement for the Aghyaran-born youngster. Noting Bradley’s progress the two-times European Cup winning goalscorer said...
“I can see the potential is there for Conor to rival Trent [Alexander-Arnold], but then it becomes how much the player wants it. Conor might be happy with a few games, but he cannot afford to think like that. If you don’t push yourself you will not know your limits.
“Liverpool teaches you a winning mentality and that will stick with him if he stays, or moves on. I remember the Chairman would always come into the dressing room at 2pm on a Saturday and his favourite phrase was, ‘First is first and second is nowhere’. “That is still the same even today.”