Tuesday 6 December 2016

'The two best footballers in Armagh are in the stands' - Sunday Game panel on Orchard woes

Published 29/05/2016 | 18:05

Ciaran McKeever of Armagh leads his team off the pitch after the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship quarter-final between Cavan and Armagh at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Ciaran McKeever of Armagh leads his team off the pitch after the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship quarter-final between Cavan and Armagh at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Colm O'Rourke and Joe Brolly have dissected the current malaise in Armagh football following their tame exit from the football championship at the hands of neighbours Cavan.

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Armagh struggled to create anything offensively as they succumbed to a 2-16 to 0-14 defeat at Breffni Park.

Despite a second half penalty miss, Stefan Campbell was one of the few players in orange to stand out in a blunt display from Kieran McGeeney's side.

Colm O'Rourke summed up some of the issues affecting football in the Orchard county after the disappointing defeat.

O'Rourke: "The two best footballers in Armagh were sitting in the stands... Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke.

Brolly: "Paul Hughes from Crossmaglen is one of the best defenders in the country."

CO'R: "You need to get your best players on the field."

JB: "Jamie Clarke was interviewed and said: 'One of the problems I have is that we're not allowed to kick the ball, we have to run the ball'... they're not allowed to kick the ball!.

"I know one fella who was studying in Queens and a simple request was made... could he do his weight training under the supervision of Mike McGurn at Queens because he just didn't have enough hours in the day and the answer was 'no, you're either here or your out of the group'.

'And you've got that situation where they are not playing club football, this is another big thing. Look at the Kilkenny model, look at Brian Cody, these guys are hurling week-in and week-out and they are using their imagination.

"You see when it comes to All-Ireland day that those Kilkenny players can rely on themselves. You see exactly the same for the Dubs.

"It's killing the joy of the game."

Armagh will no have to plan for the qualifiers while Cavan will get a chance to avenge their Division Two final defeat to Tyrone in the last four in Ulster.

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