A former Coleraine player has linked up with one of the biggest football clubs in the world in an exciting new partnership.
Joe Bradley, who founded Massachusetts Premier Soccer in 2001 along with his brother Peter and since then his now titled Global Premier Soccer in America has gone from strength to strength.
Only recently Global Premier Soccer joined forces with Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich and that link-up, which came about because of sportswear giants Adidas, really excites Bradley.
“The model at Bayern is through the roof,” he stated.
“Everything from the youth level to the academy and the quality of infrastructure they have to their financial discipline is unreal.
“If you look at the Bundesliga as a whole business model and then look at Bayern directly compared to a Real Madrid or a Barcelona or a Manchester United, they are unreal.
“The level of interaction Bayern has given usl has been world class.
“Both Wolfgang Dremmler a former German international, who is Head of FC Bayern Munich Youth Academy and Michael Tarnat, who used to play for Bayern and Manchester City, is now a scout for Bayern, they were all super with us.”
To his credit the ex-Derry City starlet continues to keep an eye on things back in his home town and he’s also delighted that his good friend Michael O’Neill is doing well with the international team.
In fact last year Bradley returned with a team to take part in the world famous Milk Cup.
“I played I think 33 times for Coleraine when I was in upper sixth at St Columbs College, then at that end of that period of time there was no opportunity to go to England in terms of continuing my footballing career, but I was fortunate enough to get a soccer scholarship in the US and the rest is history.
“After College in 2001 me and my brother Peter launched what was then Global Premier Soccer and we have gone from strength to strength.
“I would still call Northern Ireland as home and I still very much like to stay in touch with Northern Irish football and we brought a team back for the Milk Cup last summer, which we were delighted to do and it also maintains a connection which was a really important tournament for me when I was growing up.
“I was pleased with how our team performed in the tournament and it gave me the opportunity to go back to Coleraine Showgrounds and catch up with people like Victor Hunter.
“Coming from Derry and playing for both Derry City Reserves as a young player and then Institute on a few times I would regard Paul Kee as a very good friend and a good mentor during my early coaching career and I stay in good contact with him and I obviously keep an eye on Stute’s results.
“I’m also delighted to see the full national team doing great under Michael O’Neill, he’s another good friend and he’s coming to America in January, so it will be nice to catch up with him again.”