Kieran McGeeney on the long wait for GAA’s return, should reconstruction, Jamie Clarke going to Paris, and the heavy defeat to Donegal last year.
BY GERARD BROWNE
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney believes adding Kieran Donaghy to the management team will help freshen up their forward play.
The Orchard County return to Division One action this weekend for the first time since 2012 with a trip to Enniskillen to take on Monaghan.
During the off-season, former defender Ciarán McKeever and the four-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry, Donaghy, joined the Ulster side’s set up.
The man nicknamed ‘Geezer’ outlined a background in different sports and a wealth of experience as to why he looked towards the Kingdom native.
“Kieran made a career for himself by bringing other players into the game and I felt that was something we were missing in Armagh,” stated McGeeney.
“He has the basketball background, numerous All-Irelands and All Stars but he also has great humanity and that’s important too.
“His pathway gives him all the elements to make a great coach”.
It was also announced during the winter that the highly-rated Ross McQuillan has returned home after a brief stint in the AFL.
That welcome arrival has been somewhat evened out with the news that Jamie Clarke won’t be part of the panel for the coming year.
McGeeney confirmed the Crossmaglen man is in Paris at the moment and joked that unless “we are starting an international team, he is out for this year”.
Clarke’s departure again raises questions surrounding counties outside the main Sam Maguire Cup contenders regarding getting their best players to line out.
The 2002 All-Ireland winner feels the decision lies with each individual and the game is more enjoyable than it has ever been.
“Some people have different paths and I don’t think it’s an issue of football or commitment. They just tend to commit to other things,” McGeeney continues.
“I think football these days is far more enjoyable. You have to remember back in my playing days we had three different pre-seasons.
“You’d still just be doing runs until a few weeks before the championship. Now outside of pre-season, it’s all football and game scenarios,” he concludes.
Click play on the video at the top of the page to see more.
Inter-county football makes its long awaited return on May 15th with the commencement of the Allianz Football League. This year marks the 29th year of Allianz’ partnership with the GAA as sponsor of the Allianz Leagues, making it one of the longest-running sponsorships in Irish sport. In attendance at the Allianz Football League 2021 launch is Kieran McGeeney (Armagh) and Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary).
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