The All Ireland Vocational Schools triumph secured by St Paul’s, Kilrea could prove a key factor when Derry bid to strip Armagh of their Ulster and All Ireland Minor football titles in tomorrow’s Championship curtain-raiser at Celtic Park (12.00pm).
Several players from that successful St Paul’s side, including the talented Benny Quigg and Tiernan Rafferty, will help to backbone the Derry team which also contains the talented Ryan Bell and Fintan Bell as well as an accomplished goalkeeper in Ballinderry’s Daniel McKimbless.
Indeed, over half of the Derry side is comprised of Kilrea and Ballinderry club players and manager Martin McWilliams is hoping that the fluent blend developed during the recent Ulster Minor League will be even more pronounced tomorrow.
Armagh boss Paul McShane (pictured right) believes that skipper Peter Carragher — who had a key role at midfield when the team remained unbeaten in 18 outings last year — can now provide the inspiration for further success this time around.
Ronan Finnegan from Crossmaglen and Maghery’s Adrian Forker are other players to whom McShane will be looking to set the tone for what he hopes will be a polished display by his highly promising young side.
Colin Stevenson — who played a key role in helping to bring MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup success to St Colman’s College, Newry and is a son of former Armagh defender Denis Stevenson — can help ignite an Armagh attack that hopes to see a plentiful supply of possession.