Ciaran McKeever took time out this week to speak exclusively to ArmaghGAA.net about the upcoming Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup competition.
Our Captain has represented his County for over a decade and has played in a lot of big games during that time but how much is he looking forward to the Season’s opener in the Dr McKenna Cup against Tyrone “Every day you get a chance to pull on an Armagh jersey it’s a special day and something I treasure and love regardless of who we are playing, Sunday is no different”
With a new Manager at the helm in the form of our All-Ireland winning Captain, Kieran McGeeney, how has it been going since training commenced? “Things have been going well since we started back; we all know where we stand and what is expected of us in an Armagh jersey in 2015.”
Armagh haven’t won this Competition since 1990 and over the years the McKenna Cup has been used to give younger or newer members of the squad an opportunity, What advice would you give to the younger members of the squad on how to have a long Inter County career? “I think the key for younger or new members of the squad is don’t just be happy to be there. The key is if given a chance on Sunday or throughout the Competition, to grab it with both hands and never look over your shoulder and think such & such has to come back into the team. Be ruthless and make us all fight and earn our place on the team.”
Before looking forward to 2015 I was keen to learn about the ending to 2014, Armagh were in touching distance of the All-Ireland Semi-Final, do you believe the team can go at least one step further this year, Ciaran explains “The key for us as players is to learn from that quarter final last year, with 5 minutes to go we should of closed the match out and never, so we’ll learn from that and take it step by step and see where that takes us in 2015.”
We can all look forward to seeing Ciaran lead out the Armagh Senior Football team alongside our new Manager Kieran McGeeney on Sunday against neighbours Tyrone in the first game of Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup at Athletic Grounds 2pm.
The 26 man squad for Sunday’s game will be released here on the website on New Year’s Day with video interviews later in the week.