Armagh minor footballers are progressing well under the management team of Aidan O’Rourke, Paul McGrane, Davy Wilson and Martin O’Rourke. Having already beat An Cabhán by a point and accounted for Muineachán last day out, the boys will travel to Mayobridge on Saturday to take on An Dún in a top of the table derby clash that throws in at 12 noon. In the lead-up to the game, we spoke to assistant manager Martin O’Rourke.
Two games into the minor league and two good wins, things seem to be going well. How do you assess the league so far?
“We are more than happy to this point with what the team has done; although it is very early in the season to get excited about a couple of victories. Like most teams, we hope to use the league to find a settled team, so the performances are perhaps as important as the results for now, although winning games is a good habit to be in. We have had two tough games to date, in both we have found ourselves under pressure, but on both occasions the boys have found a way of getting across the line. That is always a good quality in a team.”
Have there been any standout performances so far?
“It is always difficult and probably unfair to single out individual performances. At times, some boys have stood up tall when we have been under pressure, whether it be a crucial block by a defender or a strong catch around the middle. We’ve had some fantastic score taking across both games to date, but what has been the most pleasing period of play from a coaches point of view was the Monaghan game with about twenty minutes to go. Our backs were against the wall and the whole team produced some fantastic football as a unit to pull away and win the game.”
This weekend sees a local derby against Down, what type of game can we expect?
“From what we gather this is a very hard-working, talented team that Shane Mulholland has assembled. Obviously, like ourselves, Down have not had their full panel together that long due to other commitments, but they will be a difficult team to overcome. Perhaps not in the tradition of most Down teams, Shane appears to build his team on a very strong, defensive structure and then attack from there. We will be up against it I am sure, but all we can do is focus on our own performances and see where that takes it. Being from the south of the county, there is nothing quite like the intensity of a Down game and all that comes with local derbies of this nature. We will enjoy the battle I am sure.”
Saturday’s top of the table clash should be a good encounter and we encourage as many supporters as possible to come along to see the future stars of Ard Mhacha in action. Following the completion of the league, the championship is just around the corner and we asked Martin what is Armagh’s overall aim for the year?
“At the start of every year, teams will always set their goals on the biggest prize and we are no different. The first step to achieving that is either Donegal on the 31st of May or Tyrone two weeks later. We will work hard between now and then to ensure the boys are as best prepared as we can have them.”
Guíonn muid gach rath ar imreoirí agus ar bhainisteoirí Ard Mhacha don chluiche an deireadh seachtaine seo. We wish the Armagh players and management team the very best of luck on Saturday. Throw in is at 12 noon in Mayobridge.
The Armagh side has been named as follows:
1 C Donaghy (Clonmore)
2 C Murphy (Armagh Harps, capt)
3 S Farrelly (Crossmaglen)
4 B McCambridge (Clann Éireann)
5 L Doyle (Granemore)
6 C O’Neill (killeavy)
7 C Boylan (killeavy)
8 S Morris (Crossmaglen)
9 P Quinn (killeavy)
10 J Burns (Silverbridge)
11 Mark McCabe (Shane O’Neills)
12 C Magill (Poyntzpass)
13 R O’Neill (Crossmaglen)
14 T O’Kane (Armagh Harps)
15 C Grimley (Madden)
16 C Duffin (Wolfe Tones)
17 V Brady (Pearse Og )
18 R Gaskin (Dromintee )
19 R Owens (Clan Éireann)
20 E Heaney (Pearse Og)
21 J McAlinden (Sarsfields)
22 R fields (Armagh Harps)
23 C McConville (Clann Éireann)
24 G Conlon (Tullysarran)
25 D Hatton (Clann Éireann)
26 R McSherry (Whitecross)