Armagh manager Grimley delighted with return of Vernon
It may have been a low-key match played in front of a sparse crowd, but Armagh's defeat at the hands of Derry in the O'Fiaich Cup on Wednesday night represented an important landmark for Charlie Vernon as he seeks to revive his inter-county career.
Vernon missed the greater part of this year because of injury but is now bidding to regain the form that made him a central figure in the side.
His versatility allows him to play at centre-half-back, midfield or half-forward and he looks certain to be given a key role in tomorrow's O'Fiaich Cup final at Crossmaglen when the orchard county renew their rivalry with Brian McIver's troops for the second time within four five days.
Manager Paul Grimley, pleased to have Vernon back in his ranks and relieved too that Kieran Toner was able to make an appearance as a substitute on Wednesday night, now finds his hand strengthened although he will continue to weigh up the newcomers he has introduced to his side this month.
"It's important that we have some of our more experienced players back," maintains Grimley.
"They give us an element of physical power as well as craft.
"We have been missing people like Charlie Vernon this year and it's tremendous to have him back on board."
Derry, too, have cause for satisfaction that the O'Fiaich Cup has heralded the welcome return of some of their more seasoned warriors.
Fergal Doherty has already returned to the colours while Dermot McBride, an injury victim of part of this year, is once again ensconced in the defence.
It's how players like these will perform that will influence manager McIver's thinking when it comes to trimming his squad and preparing for the McKenna Cup and Allianz League.