Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Change of tactics will hopefully bring a change of luck

New blood, a trophy in the cabinet, 5-30 on the scoreboard in 2 games was the end of year boost that Armagh needed following a injury ravaged year which saw league relegation and a poor championship put firmly on the back burner and renewed hope and confidence that 2017 will show Armagh as real live championship contenders following a successful negotiation out of Division Three football.

Following a 2016 in which manager McGeeney was deprived of over a dozen seasoned campaigners due to injury the O’Fiaich Cup exploits of Paul Hughes, Ruairi McCaughley, Joe McElroy, Shea Heffron, Ciaran Higgins, Ben Crealey, Conor White, Aaron McKay will have well pleased the gaffer as will the news that Jamie Clarke and fellow Crossmaglen Rangers club mate James Morgan will be fully on board for the 2017 campaign, which starts next Sunday with an away match against Derry in the McKenna Cup. At a recently held press briefing the Orchard County manager informed that he hoped that veteran defender Andy Mallon would also be part of his plans for the coming year. The manager also spoke of a change to their pre-season approach from the previous year in terms of doing more.

Although it may only have been the O’Fiaich Cup, Armagh showed a determination and a real appetite for victory which had been lacking from them in this particular competition for a while.

With Universities and Collage’s having first call on their students for the McKenna Cup Armagh will have more opportunities to blood new players for the games against Derry, Queen’s (Jan 15 @ Athletic Grounds) and Down (Wed Jan 18 @Athletic Grounds).

Having cast a wide net to catch the undoubted talent within the county the manager is now left with the ardeous task of getting the right blend and combinations out on the field together. Hopefully Kieran will be blessed with the headache of having a full squad of players from which to choose all year round as the rub of the green in terms of injuries and breaks during games had deserted him in 2016.