Daly back as Armagh manager

November 10, 2014

Richard Bullick

Confirmation that James Daly will be back as Armagh ladies manager next season has been warmly welcomed by captain Caroline O’Hanlon on behalf of the team.

The Dromintee man’s reappointment for a fourth season at the Orchard helm comes as a great relief to the players who wanted him to remain and build on the impressive progress of the past three years.

Armagh have made massive strides under Daly, winning the Ulster and All-Ireland Intermediate Championships in his first season and proving very competitive on their return to the senior ranks last term.

Before being beaten by champions Cork, they had won 13 matches out of 13 this year and claimed a first Ulster Senior Championship since 2007 as well as taking the NFL Division Three title.

Until the chastening Cork defeat, Armagh had lost just five of Daly’s 40 matches in charge with Westmeath the only team to beat his side by more than a single point.

That 14-point loss came as a big blow and Daly indicated afterwards that he was standing down but player persuasion combined with personal pressures easing prompted a welcome change of heart.

He showed his commitment by being prepared to go through the formal selection process instigated by the Ladies County Board and his reappointment is a big boost for Armagh football going into 2015.

Although this will be the main man’s fourth season it is still a fresh set-up with new assistants in Aileen Matthews, Patricia McAvoy and Fionnuala McAtamney being brought in this year.

It is hoped that that trio, who all featured in Armagh’s sole All-Ireland final appearance in 2006, will remain part of the management team along with hard-working liaison officer Sinead Reel, who has been there throughout the Daly era.