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Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke to extend remit of his staff

By John Campbell

Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke has no plans to draft a replacement for Justin McNulty into his backroom team.

McNulty has been ratified as the new Laois manager having spent this year to date as an Armagh selector. But now that the 2002 All Ireland-winning defender has moved on, O’Rourke intends to broaden the role of some of his current management team to compensate for his departure.

O’Rourke, who has made a big impression since succeeding Peter McDonnell as Armagh boss, is already engaged in preliminary preparations for next season.

“I wish Justin all the very best with Laois. He is getting an opportunity to pursue his ambitions in county team management and he quite rightly wants to take advantage of this. He made a good contribution to Armagh this year and his input was appreciated by us all,” says O’Rourke.

Selector Donal Murtagh and strength and conditioning coach Mike McGurn remain as the key members of O’Rourke’s backroom team while Sean O’Hare is having an increasing input in coaching.

“I believe that I already have these and other people in place who can compensate for Justin’s loss.

“We are currently undertaking a trawl of talent at all levels and obviously with Division One football looming next year we want to be ready,” points out O’Rourke.

It is believed there will be a special focus on those players who helped to bring the Ulster and All Ireland Minor titles to the county last year and Armagh county board officials, clearly delighted with the impact that O’Rourke is making in his first season in charge, believe that progress can be maintained.

“I think it is a measure of Paddy’s dedication that he is seen at virtually every club championship match that is being played in the county.

“His very thorough, painstaking approach to his job means it is unlikely that any talented player will slip through his net,” says county board spokesman Joe Jordan.

Belfast Telegraph

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