Thursday 18 January 2018

Ciaran McKeever on ...

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

"It's just sad that some players were forced to chose between club and country. I can't see why the GAA wouldn't just pull the plug on club games for two or three weeks when there are internationals on. It's not every year and a player might never be offered the chance again to play for his country. There's plenty of time to get club games finished before the end of the year and it has put players in a terrible situation because no player wants to let his club down."

Claims Australia kicked round ball better than Ireland last year

"I know it might have looked like that, but it's actually all about the tackle. Our natural instinct is to stand off in the tackle whereas they come in, wrap you up quickly and put you on the ground. It means you don't get that half-second to steady yourself that you have in Gaelic football, so shots can be wayward, but it is an area we've worked very hard on this time."

claims series now so sanitised, it's boring

"It's hard to know what people want. At times before, what happened was just what would happen sometimes in club games up and down the country, but there was this big fuss over it. Now that it's cleaner, people are still complaining! We can only go out and play whoever's against us and try to do it as well as we can."

Away team's advantage

"The team that travels definitely has an advantage. Last year we'd get into training three days before a game and we were straight back home afterwards. This year we've already been training together on and off for six weeks and had a three-day camp in Carton House. Now we'll be together for the best part of three weeks -- training, eating and living together. That creates a great bond and I can see it already on this tour."

Paul Grimley's return to Armagh as coach

"I'm delighted, but some of the boys will get a shock! We were Jekyll and Hyde in the league this year and unfortunately carried that form into the championship. We beat Down, lost to Derry, struggled against Wicklow (needed a replay to beat them) and then went out to Tyrone. It was a poor year, but you can't dwell on that, or this idea that we're a team in transition. At some stage we've got to step it up and just train harder. Paul will definitely make us do that."

Irish Independent

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