Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Marsden to stay in frame

Former Armagh star Diarmaid Marsden has set himself a special target before calling time on a glittering career.

The Lurgan man, a brilliant colleges talent with St. Colman's, Newry was on the Armagh side beaten by Meath in the 1992 All Ireland minor decider.

Ten years on he starred with the Orchard county men as they lifted the Sam Maguire for the first time amid great scenes of joy and jubilation.

Displaying great character and self assurance he pulled out all the stops that unforgettable afternoon as he and his colleagues defied the odds in some style.

Last season he came out of inter county retirement after Armagh were hit by an injury crisis, but now has drawn the curtain on his county career, determined to put Clan na Gael back in the headlines.

Last season was one to forget as far as the Lurgan men were concerned, beaten by Portadown Tir na nOg in the championship after a replay and only drawing clear of the relegation zone late in the season.

"In the end we finished about mid table in the league, but we let ourselves down badly in the championship," he said.

"It's not something we would want to be remembered for so I'm expecting a massive effort next year especially in the championship." he said.

It's hard to imagine that in the 70's the Clans were the unrivalled kings of Armagh and Ulster football, capturing three provincial titles in a row as well as losing out narrowly on All Ireland success.

Two years ago Clan na Gael were in Division Two for the first time and when Marsden stepped away from the countyscene, he agreed to become part of the senior team management along with Barry John O'Hagan and Colm McKinstry.

"We did very well getting back to Division One and winning it as well as reaching the county final, but this year was disappointing in that we failed to build on what we had achieved 12 months earlier.

"Provided I stay free of injury my aim, is to continue playing next season, but there's no guarantee I'll be involved in management," he said.

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