Friday 24 November 2017

Armagh star releases statement in response to speculation of feud with Kieran McGeeney

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Perhaps it is because the football championship is in its infancy as the big guns gradually return to action, but for a team who were relegated to Division 3 last spring, Armagh sure do grab fans' attention.

The Orchard County's heavy defeat to Cavan in the Ulster quarter-final last Sunday generated a huge amount of discussion, with Joe Brolly, former Armagh manager Paul Grimley, a host of ex-players and even one of the team's selectors speaking in the media afterwards to either defend or vilify Kieran McGeeney and his team.

There was plenty of debate around McGeeney's role and the sort of atmosphere he has created within the county, with Brolly coming down particularly harshly on the legendary player turned coach.

The Sunday Independent columnist claimed that the majority of Crossmaglen players - the county's top team - don't want to play for McGeeney because there is no fun to be had with the inter-county team.

However, one of the club's players has denied that that is the reason for his absence.

Armagh star Jamie Clarke has had a love/hate relationship with Gaelic football in the last few years, walking away from Crossmaglen during the club championship last year to go travelling.

He has been similarly unavailable for his county team at times over the last few years, but today he has released a statement through Armagh's Twitter account outlining why he isn't playing in 2016.

Contrary to popular belief, he says it has nothing to do with McGeeney or the style of play/atmosphere in the team.

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