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Smyth tips Dyas as the architect to success

By John Campbell

When Armagh reached the 1977 All-Ireland final in which they lost to Dublin, Jimmy Smyth was not only an inspirational captain but the fulcrum of their attack at centrethreequarters.

Smyth's cultured style encompassed sharp vision, elegant passing and a marked creative flair that served his team well – the same qualities, indeed, that Kevin Dyas is bringing to the current Orchard County side.

In Armagh's two championship matches to date, Dyas has been a key cog in their attacking machinery, a go-to player who can bring out the best in those around him.

And retired schoolteacher Smyth believes that Dyas will again have a pronounced in tomorrow's Ulster Championship semi-final replay against Monaghan at Clones.

"Kevin was the architect of much of Armagh's attacking momentum in their quarter-final against Cavan and also showed against Monaghan last Saturday just what an invaluable player he is," reflects Smyth.

"He shows for the ball well, rarely if ever wastes a pass and is very adept at creating space for others to exploit. He was being marked last Sunday by Vinny Corey who is a very experienced player but he found on this occasion that he had his hands full."

Dyas, who previously flirted with a career in Australian Rules Football, has matured into a silken playmaker in much the same mould as Kerry's Declan O'Sullivan.

He has found his niche within the structure of an Armagh team that relies heavily on a no surrender defensive policy allied to rapid counter-thrusts with long ball delivery to Dyas a core element in their armoury.

"I think if Armagh can get Kevin Dyas on the ball as often as they can, then they will be in with a tremendous chance of making it into the final," stated Smyth.

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