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Kieran McGeeney is eager to freshen up the Orchard

By Declan Bogue

Although he may have been handed an Alan Pardew-esque five-year arrangement to take the Armagh senior footballers, new Orchard manager Kieran McGeeney has stated that it guarantees him nothing in the way of job security.

"First of all I don't believe in five years anywhere," said the Mullaghbán man.

"The GAA doesn't work like that and this time next year I could be given my marching orders, so that's up in the air.

"It was a big decision, it's always hard to move home, and harder because there's still players there who I played for and have tremendous respect for."

After six seasons in charge of Kildare, he has accrued considerable experience as an inter-county manager.

However, although he has already embedded himself in the present Armagh camp after serving this season as selector, he points out that there may be some difficult decisions along the way.

He explained: "If I stay for the five years, it's more than likely that those careers will end in that particular time.

"Then when you're at home, there are different allegiances people would say with different clubs, and things like that.

"It's a double-edged sword because I've always loved Armagh, all I wanted to do was play and win with them as a kid.

"That hasn't changed and I loved my time with Kildare and I'll always have that regret that I couldn't get them across the line. But it is a big decision.

"I'm married now and Maura (his wife) is expecting in January so there will be a whole lot of different things happen, travelling and that. A lot of new things."

McGeeney also admitted he has been mulling over Armagh's narrow quarter-final defeat to Armagh, commenting: "It's very hard to analyse a game once it's over because there's so much emotional intelligence attached to it, especially in the last 10 or 15 minutes of a game, but when you sort of sit down in the cold light of day, you see the amount of attacks and where it broke down and why.

"One of the main problems Armagh had was their inability to make good decisions at the right time and that only comes with experience, but then getting experience at those games is tough – like will we ever get back to another quarter-final, who knows?"

In recent days there has been speculation that former boss Paul Grimley may again come into the management team as a selector and McGeeney answered that: "I haven't spoken to anybody.

"I had a phone call with Paul at one stage, but I was away there for a little break and to be honest I just wanted to wait until after the All-Ireland final before I started things."

He also backed Grimley on the media ban that lasted throughout the Championship.

"Paul felt at the time that Peter (McDonnell, selector) was insulted up there (in Belfast, at the Championship launch) and then there was the stuff after the Cavan game.

"I would back Paul to the hilt on every decision he made because every decision he made was made for the right reason," he said.

"That's one thing I can always say about Paul. There is never any manipulation and that is probably Paul's main problem. He is too honest.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and if he makes his decision he will stick to it. He will take all the flak going for it."

McGeeney also pointed out that a lot of what he terms 'flak', came from ex-players through media forums.

"There were personal things put at him and it shouldn't get to that sort of level. It's usually ex-players more than reporters who do it, which is an unfortunate situation."

Addressing reporters directly, he continued: "You know me, if I thought you were doing something I'd tell you – but it is more ex-players who tend to get more personal than reporters.

"It is a reporter's job where it is a drop-in for them."

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