Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Armagh manager Paul Grimley calls on youth with long game in mind

Armagh manager Paul Grimley
Armagh manager Paul Grimley

Armagh boss Paul Grimley has taken the bold step of thrusting five newcomers into his squad for the Ulster Championship.

The Orchard County will meet Cavan on June 8 and Grimley has given a huge vote of confidence to some members of the county’s talented Under 21 side in particular.

Seamus Kelly from the Silverbridge club, along with Grange duo David O’Hagan and Miceal McKenna get the nod, while the manager also also calls up the more experienced pair of Tim Harney and John McGill.

Grimley is anxious to provide his team with as much cover as possible, particularly as Cavan will come to the Athletic Grounds boosted by an impressive unbeaten run in Division Three of the National League.

The additions to his squad mean that Grimley will have players who will be at concert pitch for the Championship series, should some of his more established players, who are currently out through injury, not make the cut for the Cavan tie.

“Introducing these players is in line with our policy of blooding new, younger players for the future,” said Grimley.

“The squad have put the recent league behind them now that we have started our Championship training.

“Speaking for myself and my management team, I want to thank our supporters for their great backing they gave the team throughout the league and let them know that we are determined to extend the summer season as far as possible.”

Meanwhile a one-game Test against Australia a month later than usual could be the saviour of the GAA's ailing International Rules series next autumn.

Dwindling attendances and one-sided games over the last two series have put its future in serious jeopardy, especially after last year's campaign, when the Australians sent a team of indigenous players to Ireland, with very few of their league's superstars involved.

The GAA and Australian Football League (AFL) are believed to be discussing a new one-game format in an attempt to revive their collaboration, with an official announcement expected early next week.

It is believed that the favoured solution for both parties is to play just one showcase game Down Under in 2014, at a later date in November, when all of Australia's top players would be available for selection.

One of the problems of playing the series in October is that the AFL is on holidays, thus giving players and their clubs an easy out if they want to duck international duty.

The timing also regularly provides selection dilemmas for Ireland at a time when the top players are still involved in county championship action with their clubs.

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