Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Armagh's rising star Henderson is wrapped in cotton wool

Armagh manager Peter McDonnell has already issued a plea to fans not to expect too much too soon from new shooting star Ryan Henderson.

The 24-year-old Lurgan man slammed in all four goals when the orchard county beat Wexford by 4-16 to 2-9 in the National League on Sunday and has certainly copper-fastened his place in the the attack for the remainder of the National League - at least.

But McDonnell is treading cautiously as his team begin to focus on their home assignment against Laois on Saturday week.

“Because of the fact that we have currently a number of players who are unavailable for one reason or another, other people have been getting their chance and Ryan Henderson certainly seems to be making the most of this,” says McDonnell. “But obviously it is very early days yet and we have major challenges to face.”

The Armagh boss, who was delighted to have the services of Crossmaglen Rangers brothers Stephen and Aaron Kernan for last Sunday’s game, is aware that his team’s 13-point win over Wexford will bring the fans out in huge numbers for the visit of Laois.

“This will be our first National League game in the refurbished Athletic Grounds and naturally we would like to mark the occasion with a win.

“But Laois have a lot of quality players in their side and the fact that they were beaten by Kildare in their opening game will make them even more dangerous,” warns McDonnell.

Henderson’s quadruple blast against Wexford followed his two goals against Queen’s in the McKenna Cup victory at Davitt Park, Lurgan.

But the player himself is keeping his feet very much on the ground.

“I was in the squad previously - that was about six years ago - and I was surrounded by so much talent then that I just knew it would be hard to earn a regular place,” he said. “But I’m glad to be back now and while it is encouraging to have got a few goals.

“I know that the pressure will really come on as we move further into the season.

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