Grimley Back in Winning Role

September 6, 2011

Having etched his name in Armagh football folklore following his exploits as assistant manager to Joe Kernan, Paul Grimley is to make a dramatic return to Armagh football as part of Paddy O’Rourke’s management team for 2012.

The Armagh Executive issued the following statement “Coiste Chontae Ard Mhacha wishes to announce a change in county football management for the 2012 season.  Donal Murtagh has informed us that he wishes to step down and we have accepted this news with deep regret.  We wish to convey our sincere thanks and appreciation to him for his efforts towards the cause of CLG Ard Mhacha.  His expertise and football knowledge will be greatly missed. In his place, manager Paddy O’Rourke, along with the County Executive has appointed Paul Grimley to join the management team for 2012. We look forward to the 2012 season and hope our players and management’s efforts combine to make it a successful one for Armagh football.”

Grimley had been part of Seamus McEnaney’s management team in Meath for the last 12 months, having previously worked with McEnaney in Monaghan in 2010. Following All-Ireland glory in 2002 Grimley went to Cavan in 2007 and then spent two years with Kieran McGeeney in Kildare.

Just what role Paul will play with Armagh is unclear but one assumes that he is the much heralded “super coach” that has been touted in media circles this last few weeks.

Well the “super coach” is back on home soil after going full circle, having been linked to the managers job and management teams for his native county, when the last two managerial appointments were made by Armagh. Ironically in spite of his high profile and status within the game Grimley’s cupboard in terms of delivering silverware has been bare since that never to be forgotten day in September 2002.

As it seems with all managerial appointments in Armagh there is room for loads of speculation and Grimley replacing Donal Murtagh only adds fuel to that speculation. The County Board are giving manager O’Rourke the third year of his contract and fitness guru Mike McGurn is staying put also which kind of points to Donal being perceived as the weak link of the set up, which is very unfair on the former All-Ireland club winning manager.

It all makes for another very interesting 12 months in Armagh football as one of its prodigal sons returns to the fold and is straight away under pressure as the number two to produce the goods, or is he? Could it be that current manager O’Rourke is the man with all the pressure heaped upon him by the appointment of the popular, within the county, Grimley, who will be seen in some quarters as a vulture perched on his shoulder waiting to take full control next year, under his own terms, once Paddy is out of contract.

But one thing that is for sure is that Orchard County supporters will be guaranteed 100% commitment from both men in doing what they believe is right for Armagh football. If both are pulling in the same direction there is no reason that Armagh should prosper and make 2012 a lot more fruitful than the flattering to deceive at times performances of the last year.

Supporters should back their County Board for going out and getting the man that many of them have wanted these last few years. Obviously the two men feel that together they can regain the former glories for Armagh and they should be given every chance to do so by everyone, as they embrace the more than popular phrase doing the rounds at the minute “Is Feidir Linn”