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Armagh look to the future


Armagh manager Paddy O'Rourke

Armagh manager Paddy O'Rourke

Armagh manager Paddy O'Rourke

Armagh last night launched a new and ambitious 10-year plan that will help keep them at the sport’s top table.

County chairman Paul Duggan insisted that it was vital they leave behind a legacy for those players and administrators who succeed the present generation.

“We in Armagh have a successful product and our aim is to build on that for those who follow us in years to come.”

Paul Kelly, a tireless worker for the GAA in the Orchard County, and chairman of the new project, said that the winning of the All Ireland title in 2002 was a defining moment for the county.

“The men of 2002 just didn’t bring Sam Maguire to the county for the first time, but it also lit a flame, an ambition,” the enthusiastic Kelly stated.

“Then began the work of passing the torch to the next generation and future generations in Armagh.

“The success of our teams has given us the taste for success and we know we have the right stuff. We now know what it takes, and how to be at their best when their best is needed.”

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The 10 year plan, branded My Armagh, has the aim of sustaining and enhancing the GAA in the county, and Kelly insisted that My Armagh will provide the infrastructure that will build the structure from the bottom up involving every club and every member in the future of Armagh.

“My Armagh is all about a chance to help, a chance to contribute to projects that will take place in the future.

“Together we will lay foundations for sustainable growth and further success.”

He also revealed that it costs £200,000 annually to organise football in the Orchard County. The approximate cost of developing the Athletic Grounds will leave little change out of £4m, while the proposed new centre of excellence will when complete, cost just a little short of £4m.

The centre will provide for the GAA’s infrastructural needs going forward as well as providing a comprehensive purpose-built facility to cater for the various training, fitness and welfare requirements essential in maintaining today’s high performance playing standards.

To provide the necessary cash a new fund raising body has been set up — My Armagh/Your Armagh — with membership costing £1,000 per annum offering various benefits including the option to buy tickets for all senior matches involving Armagh plus free admission to all club championship games under the control of Armagh County Board.

A number of high-profile GAA officials attended the launch in the Armagh City Hotel, including GAA Director General Paraic Duffy as well as the entire county squad and the management team headed by Paddy O’Rourke, who in a very short space of time has transformed Armagh football against all the odds.

The timing of the launch couldn’t have been any better coming as it did five days after Armagh’s victory over Down in the Allianz Football League Division Two final and less than a fortnight before the Orchard County crosses swords with Derry in the championship opener in Celtic Park.

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