Thursday 19 July 2018

Armagh set to be without star defender Morgan in 2018

Armagh's James Morgan has decided to go travelling until July. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Armagh's James Morgan has decided to go travelling until July. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Armagh look set to be without James Morgan in 2018 as the highly-rated defender has decided to go travelling until July.

With a contracted inter-county season in place, the quarter-final stages would have been reached by then and even if Armagh made it that far, it wouldn't be feasible for a player to parachute straight into the set-up at that stage.

Morgan has developed into arguably Armagh's best man-marker and with Crossmaglen club-mate Jamie Clarke already in Australia, Kieran McGeeney, who has brought in Jim McCorry to assist him, will be without two of his better players next year.

Five-time All-Ireland club champions Crossmaglen were due to ratify a new management team last night with Ciarán Donnelly and Francie Fitzpatrick, two members of the original All-Ireland-winning squads under Joe Kernan in 1997, 1999 and 2000, being joined by former full-back and All-Ireland-winning manager in 1997 Donal Murtagh and another former player Micheál Moley.

Donnelly and Fitzpatrick have been to the fore with recent underage teams, with Cross winning four of the last five Armagh minor titles and the last two U-21 titles.

The quartet will operate as a management team and will take over from Gareth O'Neill who has been in charge for the last two years.

significant Meanwhile, Meath County Board spent €658,487 on the preparation of their inter-county teams compared to €499,855 in 2016.

But there was a significant lift in sponsorship and fundraising with a new three-year deal with Devenish Nutrition lifting commercial revenue from €193,675 to €399,654 with fundraising rising to €329,093 from €77,483. A surplus of €408,249 is an increase of €296,571 on the 2016 figure.

Laois's spending on inter-county teams also rose to €698,644 from €674,114 in 2016.

Fresh from their Munster intermediate football and West Kerry successes, An Ghaeltacht are hosting a tribute night for the four ó Sé brothers, Fergal, Darragh, Tomás and Marc, at the INEC on Friday night.

The exploits of Darragh, Tomás and Marc are well documented and all three featured on the 2007 All-Star football team but Fergal also played league games for Kerry and was An Ghaeltacht's coach when they reached the All-Ireland club final in 2004, losing to Caltra.

All proceeds on the night will go the development of a new pitch ahead of the club's hosting of Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta in 2019.

An Ghaeltacht have not hosted the tournament, exclusively for clubs in Gaeltacht areas, since 1970 but 2019 is the 50th anniversary.

Irish Independent

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