Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

McShane aiming to be at centre of Armagh celebrations

Paul McShane acknowledges that his players will not have to cope with a Croke Park ‘invasion’ on Sunday.

The Armagh Minor team boss insists that it will not detract in the slightest from the euphoria should they succeed against Mayo in the All Ireland Championship Final.

While the Croke Park authorities have now relented in their bid to stage All Ireland post-match presentations in the centre of the pitch following the surge of jubilant Kilkenny fans onto the playing arena in the aftermath of the All Ireland hurling final, Armagh would not expect any such mass display of fervour since the Cork v Kerry senior final follows immediately afterwards.

“We will not worry too much about the level of celebrations just as long as we win,” said McShane.

“I am sure that there will be plenty of celebrating done in Armagh on Sunday night and Monday if we win, but for now we are just keeping very focussed on the job in hand.

“You have only to look at the way that Mayo came back against Down in their semi-final and the way they pushed on to win. To me, that said an awful lot about their character and skill.”

Mayo full-forward Cillian O’Connor slammed in two spectacular goals and goalkeeper Michael Schlingermann pulled off a string of superb saves as the Connacht side reached a second All Ireland final in succession.

“We know what we will be up against. The Mayo team have grown familiar with Croke Park and they certainly won’t be fazed by having to meet us,” said McShane, boosted by the news that Armagh captain Declan McKenna won the Ulster GAA Writers Association monthly merit award for August.

“If we play the way we did against Kerry in our semi-final and maintain our concentration throughout we should not be too far away at the finish.”

Presentation to the captains of the winning teams in Minor and Senior finals will be made by GAA president Christy Conney in the Hogan Stand.

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