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Armagh county set to blossom thanks to rising stars

By Staff Reporter

Published 03/04/2015

On the up: Kieran McGeeney is building strong Armagh squad
On the up: Kieran McGeeney is building strong Armagh squad

Armagh have already gained promotion from Division Three of the Allianz Football League but there is another considerable bonus accompanying their elevation.

When Stefan Campbell returns to full fitness shortly, manager Kieran McGeeney will have six candidates vying for the two midfield berths while the emergence of Paddy Morrison means that the Orchard County now boasts five top goalkeepers.

It's an array of riches that has not been traditionally available within the county but McGeeney and his management team's patient trawl of talent and judicious deployment of newcomers means that the squad is much better equipped for the more demanding assignments that lie ahead.

Armagh will travel to Sligo to complete their scheduled league programme this weekend before facing Fermanagh in the Division Three final at Croke Park.

And both games will offer McGeeney the opportunity to further assess his new kids on the block.

Nineteen-year-old Ciaron O'Hanlon proved man of the match in the win over Louth at the weekend and assistant manager Peter McDonnell believes he will now augment a midfield battery of talent that also includes Aaron Findon, Ethan Rafferty, Stephen Harold, Peter Carragher and the currently injured Campbell.

"Ciaron O'Hanlon is a lad who has a big future who is equally comfortable on the edge of the square but against Louth he demonstrated he is well capable of playing at midfield for Armagh," insists McDonnell.

Morrison's performance in goal also elicited praise from McDonnell.

He added: "Young players have been tried out and a number of them have grabbed their opportunity.

"Paddy has now shown that he has the aptitude and skills to blossom at senior county level."

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