independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Armagh release young guns to universities

Paul Grimley has confirmed that Armagh will allow their third-level players to play with their universities in next month's Dr McKenna Cup.

Last year, Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh kept their college players within their county squads -- a decision that annoyed the university sides, with Queen's pulling out of the 2013 competition.

The universities have submitted their squads for the pre-season competition and are waiting to see whether all the county managers are going to release their college players.

It is expected that Tyrone boss Mickey Harte will not allow his third-level players to play for their colleges, but his Armagh counterpart revealed he has had a change of heart this year.

"Last year we had the Crossmaglen players still involved in the club championship, plus we had a lot of injuries, so I couldn't let them play," said Grimley. "Our circumstances have changed so they will be playing for the universities -- albeit they won't be able to play against Armagh."

Armagh are due to begin their competitive season against Queen's on January 5, with Jamie Clarke, who recently returned from America, set to miss the game as Crossmaglen are having a team holiday to Florida.

However the forward is committed to the county's McKenna Cup campaign, Grimley insisted. "He'll be back for the Donegal and Tyrone games, so he is only missing the one game (against Queen's)."

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