Sports

Oisin backs bright future for Geezer

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Oisin backs bright future for Geezer thumbnailARMAGH boss Kieran McGeeney

FORMER All-Star Oisin McConville believes that both Armagh and Down's chances of future success has been greatly enhanced following their run to the last eight and 12 respectively.

And Crossmaglen's McConville has weighed into the debate over player commitment and feels that the best players in the counties are more likely to put their name forward.

Following the disappointing defeat to Tyrone, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney said he felt his team were going in the right direction but that he feels a change in attitude is needed if the Orchard County are to close the gap on the Big Four.

"There is not a big difference in county players in different counties but there is a big difference in how they think," said McGeeney.

"Having success behind you is a big help, or an environment and a culture that constantly looks for perfection to push on. It is hard on those counties that do not get success because then people think you are wasting your time.

"There are small things not the big things that will make the big difference in the squad.

Maybe their ability to put their jersey first for those seven or eight months leading up to it and getting into the whole philosophy of how you play the game, the team ethos that is needed.

"The top teams have it, whether it is Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone or Kilkenny. There is a huge focus and commitment and even you look at Mayo that just get so near every time - and that is what we are going to have to do and it will take time."

Democrat columnist McConville, who scored the goal in Armagh's only All-Ireland win, feels that McGeeney needs players fully willing to commit to the Orchard cause and believes that after the run to Croke Park McGeeney should have a the best of selection of players to pick from.

"Looking ahead into the future of Armagh football, I think that they're going in the right direction based on this year," said McConville.

"We don't need to add too many players, we've as much talent in Armagh as there is anywhere else, and Down's the same. If you can get things going in the right direction you only need to augment the squad with one or two players each year.

"In the last couple of years, both for Down and Armagh, you'd players who chose not to play for the the county because they didn't see any prospect of winning anything in it. You need a squad of players who buy completely into a manager's vision but, over-riding that is getting to pick from your best players- that's paramount.

"You need the best players in the county committing to the cause and a little bit of success like Armagh and Down have had this year definitely makes life easier for a manager when he's trying to attract players.

"It's the same in the Premiership, if say Man United or Huddersfield are in for a player, there's a good chance you'll get a player to go to United because they'll know there's a chance of winning something.

"With Armagh and Down over the last few years, a player would've thought that there was no chance of winning something whereas this year they'll see that things are a little bit better. So there's a chance of getting them to commit to the set-up."

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