Orchard to face Kildare

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Orchard to face Kildare thumbnailJAMIE Clarke celebrates scoring against Tipperary.

ARMAGH will play Leinster runners-up Kildare after the Orchard men put in an impressive display against Tipperary on Saturday.

The Lilywhites will be without the suspended Kevin Feeley while their captain Eion Doyle is an injury concern.

Jamie Clarke scored the all important goal in Semple Stadium on Saturday but Paddy McKeever, who is part of the Armagh management side wants more from the Crossmaglen man.

"I suppose that is the sort of class that Jamie has and I suppose by his own standards he was indifferent enough but he always keeps showing and he always wants to score, so to come away with 1-1 in what was probably a five minute cameo, so maybe we can see if we can get a wee bit more," said McKeever.

And the Ballyhegan club man acknowledged on Saturday that Armagh will need to up their game if they are to make progress into the last eight.

"The three games will have definitely lift the spirits and it will keep them going, there is a good atmosphere and a good buzz around training, good camaraderie around them as well. But with all due respect we know where are going to be up against it the next day. The standard of opposition is going up and up and then we will find out where we are at.

"Whoever we get we just have to focus on that. It is great that it is only almost a two-week turn around, this week was a wee bit tight as we had a lot of fellas carrying niggles and knocks and I suppose that is where the value of your panel and squad comes in." Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney spent three seasons as manager at Kildare, where he guided them to a Leinster Final, but Democrat columnist Oisin Mc- Conville feels this will have no baring on Armagh's match preparations.

"Kildare's a tough draw, Kieran McGeeney's had his time there, so there's a bit of history there, but I think Armagh will have to be absolutely on top form to win the game, it's a really tough draw," writes Mc- Conville.

"I think Kildare's players will have a serious respect for Kieran McGeeney but, because of the turnaround nature of inter-county football, not that many would've played under him.

I think that Kildare will be going in as slight favourites against Armagh, as would Monaghan against Down, though I qualify that by saying that I think neither Kildare or Monaghan are overwhelming favourites mind."


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