Ryan Bradley (Gaelic footballer)

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Ryan Bradley
Ryan Bradley Donegal GAA.png
Bradley was ordered to "bulk up" by county manager Jim McGuinness prior to the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Personal information
Sport Gaelic football
Position Left Half Forward
Born 1985 (age 32–33)
County Donegal
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Occupation Plasterer
Years Club
? - present
Years County
2005 - present
Inter-county titles
Ulster titles 2
All-Irelands 1

Ryan Bradley (born 1985) is an Irish sportsperson. He plays Gaelic football with his local club Buncrana and is a member of the Donegal senior inter-county team. Considered an underage prodigy, he has been reborn since Jim McGuinness took over as manager of Donegal and is now regarded as "the poster boy for the new Donegal".[1][2]

Playing career[edit]

Bradley made his debut for Donegal in the National Football League in 2005 when Brian McEniff was in charge. Brian McIver brought him back into the fold for the 2007 National Football League campaign when Donegal won the title. He also scored a goal in the final when Donegal won the 2009 Dr. McKenna Cup.[3]

However, becoming increasingly disillusioned, Bradley left to pursue his career in Boston. Jim McGuinness telephoned him upon his appointment as Donegal manager in 2010 - Bradley would later say, “I talked to Jim once and after that conversation he had it drummed into my head. If I hadn't have come back after that phonecall I'd have been better just to give up football”.[4]

Bradley made his first Ulster Senior Football Championship start against Antrim in May 2011. He scored two points during the game and The Sunday Game gave him their man-of-the-match award. TV pundit Pat Spillane controversially claimed Bradley was "the best of a bad bunch".[4] McGuinness reacted furiously, calling Spillane's comments “way over the top”.[5] In July 2011, Bradley became the first man from Buncrana to help Donegal to an Ulster title.[4] He won the Ulster title again the following season and later played in the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final as Donegal defeated Mayo.[6]

Against Down in the 2013 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship he was concussed and received hospital treatment.[7][8] In August 2013, he announced he was transferring to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for €89.[9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Bradley is a dog whisperer and hand model by trade.[9] He is a past pupil of Crana College.[11] He is married to Claire Sheerin, a cousin of Donegal teammate Michael Murphy. He is not fond of the media spotlight.[4]


  • GAA GPA Player of the Month (July 2012)[12]


  1. ^ Campbell, Peter (23 August 2011). "Bradley buying into the new system". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  2. ^ Boyle, Donnchadh (9 August 2012). "Bradley revelling in new role as Donegal poster boy". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Donegal 2-12 Queen's University 0-11 (AET)". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 25 January 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d McNulty, Chris (25 August 2011). "Ryan Bradley: "We never give up"". Inishowen Independent. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Angry Donegal manager turns on RTÉ pundits for poking fun at the county". Donegal Daily. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Live updates from the All-Ireland finals at Croke Park". RTÉ Sport. RTÉ. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  7. ^ "The hits are bigger than ever… but what is the GAA doing to manage concussion?". The Score. 3 August 2013. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  8. ^ Roche, Frank (29 July 2013). "McGuinness hits out at physical impact". Evening Herald. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Ryan Bradley to leave Donegal for Abu Dhabi". Highland Radio. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Double blow for Donegal". Hogan Stand. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Picture special as Ryan brings Sam to Crana College". Donegal Daily. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2013. Liam Galbraith Principal of Crana College welcomes All Ireland winning player and past pupil Ryan Bradley to the school on Thursday
  12. ^ "Bradley is player of the month". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012.

External links[edit]