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Toal has options as Campbell aims for a starting place

 

By John Campbell

Stefan Campbell is strongly focused on securing a starting place in the Armagh side which will meet Westmeath in Round 2B of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

Campbell was omitted from last Sunday's starting line-up for the win over Fermanagh but made a big impact when introduced from the bench in the 39th minute for Andrew Murnin, who had incurred a yellow card.

In recent seasons, Campbell has been viewed as Armagh's go-to player and his form against Fermanagh suggests that stand-in manager John Toal now has interesting selection options open to him given that Ethan Rafferty also looked impressive in the limited game time offered to him against Peter McGrath's side.

Grange clubman Rafferty has been out with injury for some time but the manner in which he scored a soaring point from long range with his first touch against the Ernesiders indicates that he is now very much back in the groove.

Toal is particularly pleased that he now has additional choices in the important midfield zone because of the dynamic form of Niall Grimley and the growing maturity of Stephen Sheridan.

They are keeping players such as Aaron Findon in the shadows and Toal believes there is even more to come from the incumbent duo.

"I thought Niall Grimley had an outstanding match against Fermanagh, he is a superb footballer and we certainly knew it was in him. He just needs to build on this form and keep improving because there is room for that," insisted Toal.

"Stephen Sheridan also had an excellent game so now that we know they are capable of this kind of form, we will be expecting that from them in the middle of the field.

"We would hope that they will perform to this level against Westmeath because this will be very important for us in the context of getting another victory."

Meanwhile, Fermanagh goalkeeper Chris Snow will not be available for selection next season.

Snow is taking a year out from inter-county action because of family commitments. His wife Joan is expecting the couple's second child shortly and Snow believes that he will be unable to give the commitment necessary to the Erne side.

"If you know you are not going to be able to make the training sessions and undertake the necessary gym work then you should not be there in the first place," maintained Snow.

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