Geezer good for Armagh
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
AS the Democrat was first to reveal last December it was no surprise that Armagh's only All-Ireland winning captain Kieran McGeeney was ratified as manager.
As a player he brought ecstasy to Armagh supporters in 2002 when he lifted the Sam Maguire Cup and he has been given five years to try and emulate as a manager what he achieved as a player.
A statement from the Armagh County Board reads: "His appointment was unanimously ratified at a county board meeting held in Armagh Athletic Grounds on Wednesday 27th August 2014.
“The County Board would like to express our best wishes to Kieran, his backroom team and to our senior team as they continue to build on their recent progress. The County Board hope that under Kieran McGeeney's leadership this promising team can achieve the success yearned for by the county and its loyal supporters.
“McGeeney captained the Armagh team when they won the All Ireland Senior Football inter-county championship in 2002. He won six Ulster titles during his 15-year playing career and also represented and captained Ireland in the International Rules side.
“Armagh's new managerial appointment will be for a fixed term of five years."
Kieran was six years with Kildare where he took them from the football obscurity to compete in the All-Ireland quarter-finals for five of those six years.
Kieran's playing career spanned 15 years during which time he reaped six Ulster titles, one All-Ireland title and three All-Star awards. His mantra always was 'to be the best I can be' and in achieving his aim he will instill the same attitude in his Armagh players.
Speculation continues as to who will be his background team. Strong in character, McGeeney will want fully committed men.
Some of those who could be number two include Peter McDonnell, Martin McQuillan, Denis Hollywood, or indeed Paul Grimley, who as manager brought Geezer back to Armagh, from this season's management team.
Paul McGrane, Head of the Orchard Academies, or U21 manager Stevie McDonnell and both close friends could be the ones to step up.
Although McGrane may cut his managerial teeth as Minor manager, if current Minor boss Paul Doyle decides to step down.
Dromintee's Aidan O'Rourke, linked to Antrim at the moment, John Rafferty, currently managing Bellaghy, or Niall Carew, ex-Waterford manager who worked with McGeeney in Kildare, could also be in the running.
A strong contender seems to be Kilcoo manager Jim McCorry, also tipped to take up the vacant Down manager position, who managed Kieran as a young player in the early 90s when Armagh reached the National League final and won the Dr McKenna Cup.
Crossmaglen's Tony McEntee or Oisin McConville coming on board would not be a surprise either a total shock either. The five years under Kieran will give the county real development time to maximise the development of players able to contest All-Irelands, to restructure the preparation methods based on appropriate sports science and to work out a fixture programme to suit both county and club in order to make sure all players in the county can become the best they can be.
With Paul Grimley stepping down it leaves the door open for Silverbridge's Pete Carragher and Ballymacnab's Gavin McParland to return, while Crossmaglen defender Paul McKeown is fully fit and the type of player McGeeney would want in his squad.
The new Armagh manager will not be doing any media interviews until after he meets his players as a group.
The Newry Democrat last December.
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