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Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney says penalties are 'cruel' way to end county's All-Ireland dream after Galway loss

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A dejected Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney

A dejected Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Galway manager Padraic Joyce and Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney after the game

Galway manager Padraic Joyce and Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney after the game

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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A dejected Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney

“It’s just the way sport is. It’s cruel,” said Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney when we finally got down to the nitty-gritty of a game being decided on penalties.

It was always going to happen in a big match. Already, the Tyrone county final has been settled in such fashion and the Munster Championship game between Limerick and Clare went the same way. But still.

“Going to replays and stuff is not fair on supporters either, the way things are. Coming to Dublin is an expensive thing to do,” continued McGeeney, although nobody would have refused a second helping of this pairing next weekend.

“You would have put your house on Soupy (Stefan Campbell) and we had been practising penalties because we knew it was going to happen in some game. It’s cruel on them.

“It’s a tough ask to get up to the top, it takes a couple of years. But the group out there, I’ll be honest with you, they are better footballers than we ever were. But you need a wee bit of luck.

“I read today about the Sligo quarter-final. It’s funny, the year we won it, we had luck hanging out of us. The years before against Kerry and Meath, and even after, we went the other way.

“You just need that bit of luck. Cillian McDaid, that point there was a screamer. I remember Kevin Cassidy doing something like that in a quarter-final here against Kildare. Some days you just cannot do much about those.”

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So is he an unlucky General?

“No. No. I am probably the luckiest,” he added.

“The fellas I have had over the years have been good lads. Real good lads. You can get a ball of Bs that are hard to deal with. I have been very lucky in that respect. I have good people around me. I like bringing in people who argue with me which doesn’t help the grey hair, but they are strong individuals.

“I have got to as many quarter-finals as most managers out there. It’s just getting that wee kick. It’s just a bit of luck. I am not saying I am a good manager, I enjoy it. I love football, I love my county and I love the GAA. Not always reciprocated, but it is definitely a passion.”

Galway manager Padraic Joyce is nothing but traditional.

“Let’s call a spade a spade, that’s no way to lose a match,” he said.

“While we’ll take the victory, my heart goes out to them. Because they added great colour and support today and it’s not the way to do it. It’s something the GAA need to look at because we’re not soccer. Penalties are for soccer, it’s not for GAA in my eyes.”

In the meantime, he is preparing for more northern opposition.

“We can’t focus on something that we don’t know will happen,” he added. “All we can focus on is Derry on Sunday-week. Everyone is available, bar Sean Kelly.”


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