Liverpool star Conor Bradley has taken the Premier League by storm – but could have been a “massive success” in another sport, his former coach revealed today.

Dixie Robinson told how Bradley is not only gifted with the ball at his feet, but in his hands too.

And the 20-year-old, who will walk out at Wembley to face Chelsea this Sunday in the EFL Cup Final, could have had a successful career in Gaelic football.

Robinson told Merseysportlive: “He was a top player for his club Aghyaran St Davog’s.

“They were based in the North of Tyrone and he was very successful there as well.

“I know the current managers of the team know Conor would have been a massive success with that as well.”

Conor Bradley with his Aghyaran St Davog's team mates - credit Aghyaran St Davogs
Bradley (with ball) with Aghyaran St Davog’s team mates – credit Aghyaran St Davogs

Bradley joined Aghyran St Davog’s at just five-years-old and spent six years at the club before focussing on a career in football.

Anthony Devine coached him at the club and thinks the young fullback could have gone all the way.

Speaking exclusively to MerseySportLive, Devine said: “From an early age he was a standout player. You could see there was something special.

“He never worried about opposition or the weather or who we didn’t have.

Conor Bradley playing for Aghyaran St Davog's - credit Rory Cox
Bradley playing for Aghyaran St Davog’s – credit Rory Cox

“He just went out and played. You can see that in how he plays today – that’s why he’s gone so far.

“He would have gone as far as he went in the soccer that’s for sure.”

The Northern Irishman’s family have always been involved at the club.

His father, who sadly passed away recently, was a big sponsor and his two uncles are former players.

Before he made the switch to Anfield, Bradley played for Dungannon Swifts back in his homeland of Northern Ireland.

Robinson was Head of Development and coached the youngster during his time at the club and knew of his talents from an early age.

Conor Bradley with his late father, mother, brother and sisters - credit Aghyaran St Davog's
Conor Bradley with his late father, mother, brother and sisters – credit Aghyaran St Davog’s

“We had known about Conor from when he was as young as eight years old but because of the distance of travel, his mum decided that he was going to stay closer to home.

“When he was 14, I approached him again and thankfully he decided to come and join Dungannon Swifts.

“He played for us for 18 months and then he made his move across to Anfield.”

The fullback turned down offers from multiple English clubs to sign for his boyhood team Liverpool.

“As long as I can remember, he was always (a fan of) Liverpool.

“I think Liverpool was always his team, even as a young boy.

“He was sort of on Liverpool’s radar from a very young age.

“I know there were other clubs who inquired about him. It always seemed that it was nowhere other than Liverpool.

“I know there were lots of scouts (from other clubs) at all the games. They were always trying to get him to commit to going across on trial.

“But I think Liverpool had him well sewn up from a young age.”

Conor Bradley alongside fellow Dungannon Swifts players winning Victory Shield for NI - credit Dungannon Swifts
Conor Bradley (centre) alongside fellow Dungannon Swifts players winning Victory Shield for NI – credit Dungannon Swifts

Despite his talent, Robinson didn’t expect to see The Reds star break through this early on in his Anfield career.

“To say that you knew he was going to play for Liverpool I think would be a big statement to make,” he added.

“I don’t think anybody could have thought that at such a young age he was going to achieve the highs that he has already.

“We certainly knew that he had all the attributes to become a professional footballer but to do it at the level he’s doing at now – It’s just fantastic.”

The Northern Irishman scored his first goal for Liverpool against Chelsea in the league recently.

But this is a sight his former coach is all too familiar with.

“He played as a striker in his younger days, because he was rapid. He was really quick and sharp.

“He had just so much natural talent and pace that you could have played him anywhere.

“But he did play as a striker for a while and scored obviously loads of goals.”

Bradley spent last season on loan at Bolton Wanderers, but his former coach was surprised how quickly he made the jump from League One to the Premier league.

“You know that Trent Alexander Arnold is going to play in a similar position to Conor.

“So, we knew he had big boots to fill. But when he got his opportunity, everybody could see what happened.”

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold warming up - usage under alamy license
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold warming up – under agreed Alamy licence

Liverpool fans have been crying out for Alexander-Arnold to play in midfield, and Robinson agrees with many that Bradley’s emergence could bring that change.

“We have a lot of Liverpool fans at our football club and they would all be thinking that’s the next move.

“Connor’s going to cement his place in the team and then Trent will move into the midfield area. So, yeah; hopefully that’s the case.”

Bradley’s success and his first goal against Chelsea has had a massive impact on his former club, giving youngsters a new role model.

“Oh, undoubtedly… we were all chuffed.

“Even some of the younger kids at our club, where they have been wearing a Liverpool jersey before, they’re now wearing shirts with Bradley on the back of it… it was a great lift for everyone.”

(Main picture – Free to use under Alamy licence)