Dundalk's new loan signing Steven Bradley is unveiled at Oriel Park. ( Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile)
If you listen closely enough to the many great chants sung by the the Dundalk faithful in the shed in Oriel Park, a certain Shamrock Rovers manager is sure to get the odd nod from them. And as to be expected they are rarely words of praise.
However much kinder chants may soon echo around the Carrickmacross road as another man by the name of Stephen Bradley has arrived to the club in search of glory in Ireland.
The 19-year-old winger arrived in Louth on a loan from Scottish side Hibs and will wear the number 16 shirt for the Lilywhites and is set to make his debut for the club in Wednesday night’s pre-season friendly with Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park.
“I’m really excited to be here,” he told dundalkfc.com after completing his move. “I wanted a new challenge and when Dundalk was brought up I really wanted to come here.
“I’ve obviously heard about the club and I know how well they’ve done in Europe over the past few years and when I had a chat with the head coach he was really keen to get me in which helped me a lot and made my decision a lot easier.
Bradley has taken notice of the many comings and goings of players from the SPL to the Premier Division in Ireland and vice versa. He sees this as an opportunity to prove himself to the big clubs in his homeland.
“People like Daryl Horgan and Jamie McGrath have moved from here to Scotland and gone on to do very well and over the last few months, we’ve seen boys from the League of Ireland get moves to Celtic and other clubs so it’s a good opportunity for me to show what I can do.”
The Glasgow native began his footballing journey playing on youth teams with Rangers before singing for Queens Park and was handed his senior debut versus Annan Athletic back in March 2019. He went on to make six appearances for Scotland's oldest club.
Then came a marquee move to Edinburgh giants Hibernians, where he was sent out on loan to Scottish Championship side Ayr United and played 13 times before reporting back for Hibs duty in January.
The Ayrshire club were keen to keep the promising attacker, who was due to stay with United until the end of the season, but instead Hibs decided to cut the loan short opening the doors for him to move to the League of Ireland
“Steven is a bit of a throwback to the wingers of the past and he will excite our fans and have them on the edge of their seat. He will give us more options in the attacking part of the pitch,” said Dundalk FC head coach Stephen O’Donnell.
“Hibs manager Shaun Maloney brought him on as a substitute in a league game at Celtic Park so it shows how highly he is thought of in Scotland,” he added.
“He still has two-and-a-half years left on his deal there and they thought it was in his best interests to go out and get some games under his belt so we are delighted to get him on board.”
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.