Sports

OISIN COLUMN

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

REFLECTING on Armagh's season, I think it was a very positive campaign and that there are a lot of pluses to be taken from it.
Despite losing on Saturday, I left the match feeling very positive with what the future holds for Armagh football. I think people were happy, first and foremost, with the manner of the performance, and secondly, with the effort and when you consider the season we had, we had promotion and we were one step away from the Super 8.
I think the players are happy and the management's happy, so, it's a case of onwards and upwards because I think we could have anything up to eight or nine new members on that panel next year, so, all things considered, it's been a positive season.
Last year we got absolutely trounced by Tyrone whereas this year, if I'm going to be totally honest, I'm not sure if we were ready for the Super 8. It maybe suits us not being there this year with a view to being there next year and giving them a real rattle rather than going in this year and getting our confidence knocked. I think it's been a good year and that Kieran McGeeney will be happy with it. There's lots of positives to take from it and the outlook on Armagh football in 2018 is brighter than it probably has been in ten years.
In July it's still relatively early to be out of the Championship, but you can create a lot of plans between now and next year and try and put them in place and implement them.
There's a continuity in having Geezer as manager, the players know where they stand and everyone seems to be behind him, as well as from a supporters point of view and it's a long time since we've had that.
The vacant Down position presents an opportunity for a new manager. I've heard my name mentioned in certain quarters as a potential candidate in the running, but I can categorically state that I wouldn't be in the position to fulfil that position, and it's nothing to do with the fact that it's Down.
I think Down have a huge amount of talent and I think that the right person can come in and dramatically change Down's fortunes.
I think, that of all the mooted candidates, Tony McEntee would stand out, but my understanding is that he was more or less assured it the last time around and didn't get it, so I don't know if he's harbouring anything from that.
I think he'd be a good candidate and has gained a hell of a lot of experience through his efforts with Mayo - getting to a couple of All-Ireland Finals with them - so I don't know what his plans are or whether he's going to stay on with Mayo or not.
I think he'd be a good choice for Down along with someone like Benny Coulter with a view to maybe Benny taking over some years down the line, having got some experience under Tony. There's lots of options there but they're two of the names that I would be throwing out there and thinking that they're realistic candidates that'll move Down football onto the next level.
I think just that renewed vigour that players realise that, as a county board and as a county, that you're interested in them and you're willing to put whatever it takes in place to get them over the line, so I think something of an outside influence with an inside influence would be ideal for them.

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