Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Bellew plans to bow out

Crossmaglen Rangers manager Donal Murtagh has hinted that Francie Bellew may be about to call time on his inter-county career.

The 32-year-old former All-Star, who is a cult figure in Armagh, made his inter-county debut in the Orchard County's All-Ireland winning year of 2002 and has since earned a reputation as one of the toughest full backs in the game.

Bellew is currently preparing for tomorrow’s All-Ireland club against Kilmacud Crokes and could announce his inter-county retirement afterwards.

"Francie is very hard to get information out of, as you know. He said he wasn't too keen on going back. He said it was a young man's game so maybe he is fed up of running around after speedy forwards," Murtagh said.

Murtagh has been deploying Bellew at full-back recently, claiming it is his best position.

"He played there in front of me when I was number three. He is back out there now, but it is horses for courses. We might well have to put him in the full-back line for Tuesday. You don't know," said Murtagh.

The Rangers looked sharp in their semi-final win over Limerick champions Drum-Broadfield but Murtagh knows that it will be much tougher for his side tomorrow.

“Kilmacud will have a lot of backing from their fans in Croke Park and we must be up for the challenge. We know that it will be a very intense and we will need to be on our best if we are to succeed,” added Murtagh.

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