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Toal in mix as McGeeney casts wide net for new No.2 at Armagh

By John Campbell

Anyone considered to be akin to a shrinking violet should definitely not apply for the vacant position of No.2 to Armagh team manager Kieran McGeeney.

The Orchard County boss is currently keeping his options open in relation to a fresh face to replace Aidan O'Rourke, who departed last week, and knows precisely what he is looking for.

"I want someone who is as strong-willed as I am myself and who means what they say," stated McGeeney.

"I am accustomed to having been surrounded by people of this nature up until now. Paul Grimley, John Rafferty, Peter McDonnell and of course Aidan O'Rourke were all very much their own men.

"I like individuals who speak their mind and it was maybe a situation that the people I have mentioned often thought they were No.1 and I was No.2!"

John Toal, who was in the Armagh side that won the 2002 All-Ireland title alongside McGeeney, is thought to be a strong candidate to replace O'Rourke and the Keady native was on touchline duty for Sunday's O'Fiaich Cup semi-final win over Tyrone.

McGeeney is strongly focused on seeing his side flourish in the Dr McKenna Cup before immersing themselves in what he feels will be a "very tough" Division Three campaign.

But he is adamant that he won't replicate what he feels was the error he made earlier this year.

"Immediately prior to the league we played two challenge matches and several players were injured in those which meant they missed part of the league. I have to hold my hands up on that one, it was a mistake," admitted McGeeney.

There could be an additional boost for McGeeney in the wake of Sunday's unexpected cup coup.

Jamie Clarke, one of his most experienced forwards, returned from the United States on Sunday and could well feature for Armagh in their McKenna Cup campaign.

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