Doyle proud of squad
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
ARMAGH Minor manager Paul Doyle praised his young side after they crashed out to defending All-Ireland Champions Mayo in Sunday's All-Ireland quarter-final, writes Steve Malone.
But he insists the experience of playing at Croke Park will be something the players will never forget.
“We are proud of our lads and I have told them that what they represented for Armagh has been immense, the journey they have gone on, we are a young side and the experience that they are going to get from today is the main thing," said Doyle.
“We were here last night watching our Seniors and that's where they want to be. This is only a step in their journey, it is a learning curve for those lads and a lot of them are 16 and 17.
“We can have no complaints, the lads will be down but over the next week or two they are going to realise where we got to this year. We got to the last eight of an All-Ireland series, which at the start of the year no-one seen coming, because this is such a young squad. But as a management team we a proud of every one of them and they just have to keep their heads up.
“For those lads it was amazing to get to Croke Park, even in the Ulster Final when we lost to a better side, these boys have played in Croke Park and some of these lads won't go on to play Senior football for Armagh and some of them will, but this is something that they will always remember. Inside that dressing room is devastation but the effort that they have put in all year, the games they have played and the excitement they have brought to families, clubs and the county has been brilliant."
While Doyle has yet to decide if he will remain in charge of the Minors next season with 17 of the panel of 35 players still available next season, he is hopeful of a good year in 2015 and believes that Armagh Minors will return stronger next season.
“A lot of the players will be back next year. It is a young squad and the likes of today will stay to them more than winning a game easy. They will remember what they have to do to improve and they have worked hard all year," he said.
“We lifted them boys from schools football in February onwards and they come straight from school and trained for us and trained hard and never gave us one day of trouble. Anything that was asked they did and they were a credit to their families, clubs and we are proud of them.
“All year we have never given up and probably the best attribute we these lads have is their attitude and things didn't go our way today and we were beaten by a better team. But they can take credit that they never gave up they kept going and they worked hard all year."
And while Doyle gave the impression that he would like to carry on as Armagh Minor manager he says it is a decision for later in the season.
“I will have to sit down with the County Board and see what they want. No matter what we will go back into the Development squad system in Armagh and it is up to the Armagh County Board who we have a great relationship with as they have supported us in everything," Doyle said.
“These lads have been a pleasure to work with but it is a massive commitment as a lot of us have young families and we are giving up a lot but it is a lot easier to give up all your time and put in all the effort when you are working with the calibre of players that we have.
“There is no point making any decisions just yet we will talk about it and then go back to the County Management Committee and we will see what they want."
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