Doyle sure Armagh can spring a surprise
Armagh manager Paul Doyle was given a sharp reminder last weekend of just what his side have to do if they wish to make an impact in the Ulster Minor football championship.
Doyle was a more than interested observer as reigning champions Monaghan staged a dramatic comeback to pip Tyrone in an absorbing quarter-final that saw them book their place in today's last four meeting with the Orchard County in Clones.
Monaghan showed that they have no intention of relinquishing their crown easily and manager Frank Brady has reiterated his desire to see the Farney county make it back-to-back Ulster titles.
That's the challenge Doyle and his players must confront, although the scales will be tipped in Monaghan's favour.
"They are the champions and they have shown a great hunger to date, but we will be ready for them, It's not going to be easy but then winning titles never is," maintains Doyle.
In overcoming Cavan, Armagh showed a sharp appetite for battle with players such as Caolan McConville, Paul Quinn and Conor Cullen showing the way.
McConville is a talented youngster who could pose problems for the Monaghan defence, but the champions are still rich in talent and ambition and Brady preaches only a positive gospel – hardly surprising given that he has been a firm disciple of Sir Alex Ferguson for some time.
Today he will look to players like Barry McGinn, David McAllister, Packie Colton and James Mealiff to set the tone for his team.
In winning the title last year, Monaghan underlined their renaissance at under-age level.
That could be further rubber-stamped today although Brady's boys will need to pull out all the stops to reach the decider against Donegal.