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McKeever and Clarke all set to face major tests as managers

 

By John Campbell

Two players who have rendered outstanding service to Armagh over the years are about to take up new roles in the sphere of team management.

Ronan Clarke, an All-Ireland winner in 2002 when he was also voted Young Footballer of the Year, and Ciaran McKeever, who brought the curtain down on his long Orchard county playing career last year, face into different challenges.

While Clarke will succeed Jason Reilly as manager of the Cavan Gaels club, McKeever takes over from former county senior star Paul McGrane as the new boss of the Armagh minor football team.

Having won five Ulster Senior Football Championship medals as well as his All-Ireland honour as a player, Clarke has coached his native Pearse Og club and Monaghan Harps as well as steering Tullysaran to their maiden junior football championship crown in 2015. He also managed the Armagh ladies team for a spell.

McKeever, meanwhile, will be hoping to bring much-needed success to Armagh at minor level.

The 35-year-old St Patrick's, Cullyhanna clubman proved an inspirational Armagh captain for several years and led the county to All-Ireland U21 glory in 2004.

McKeever won four Ulster titles with Armagh and represented Ireland three times in the International Rules series.

A no-nonsense defender by trade, he is expected to bring steel and competitiveness to Armagh's play.

Belfast Telegraph

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