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“I think he should be playing midfield”- Ethan Rafferty debate

Joe Kernan talks about Armagh fly goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty who has been a big feature of the Orchard County’s playing style

Joe Kernan talks about Armagh fly goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty who has been a big feature of the Orchard County’s playing style.

Joe Kernan admits that he is not a big fan of Ethan Rafferty playing the role of an attack-minded goalkeeper for Armagh.

The Grange clubman spent most of his career as an outfielder but has been handed the number one jersey by Kieran McGeeney in recent times.

Keepers have progressively taken more part in open play during recent seasons, with Rory Beggan, Niall Morgan and Odhran Lynch chief among them.

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“Squeaky bum time every time,” smiles Kernan when speaking of Rafferty’s advances. “He puts fear into the opposition, but a big man like him can be stopped.

“A cute tackler who breaks the man off him, then the house is down.

“He scores the odd point, you know what I mean.

“He should be playing midfield โ€” he can catch a ball with anybody. That’s where I would love to see him, out midfield.

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“To answer your question, I would be worried with goalkeepers coming outfield.”

Host Shane Stapleton added, referring to Damien Comer’s breakaway goal in the All-Ireland semi-final when Odhran Lynch was upfield, “it cost Derry last year”.

“That’s right,” says Kernan. “All it takes is one chance and the damage is done.”

Armagh face Derry in this weekend’s Ulster SFC final.

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*Derry are bidding to win successive Ulster titles for the first time since 1975-76. Armagh last won the title in 2008, which was also the last time they reached the final.

*Armagh have won the Ulster title 14 times; Derry have eight titles.
*Derry are seeking their sixth successive win in the Ulster championship, having beaten Tyrone, Monaghan and Donegal last year and Fermanagh and Monaghan this year.

*Derry averaged 2-19 in their wins over Fermanagh and Monaghan. Armagh averaged 2-14 in their wins over Antrim, Cavan and Down.

*The winners will be in the same group as Clare, Monaghan and Donegal in the All-Ireland series. The losers will be in the same group as Galway, Tyrone and Westmeath.

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