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Our '16th man' can help to make it another day of good cheer for Orchard County, insists McCorry


Fan fever: Jim McCorry believes Armagh will get huge support
Fan fever: Jim McCorry believes Armagh will get huge support
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Armagh assistant manager Jim McCorry believes that his team's 'sixteenth man' can prove a key weapon in the pursuit of victory over Fermanagh in the Ulster championship quarter-final at Brewster Park, Enniskillen on Saturday.

McCorry admits he was surprised at the volume of support that the Orchard County received over the course of their successful Division Three league campaign, particularly at away matches.

"The team has enjoyed support through thick and thin and I would have to say that they have benefited greatly from a huge travelling support to date this year," states McCorry.

"The sixteenth man has been a big factor from Armagh's perspective, there's no doubt about that.

"Fermanagh will obviously have big support in their own back yard for what is an important Championship game, but we expect our fans to be out in big numbers for this one."

McCorry, who has proved a significant capture for Armagh, believes that the team have responded to the support they enjoy by the positive attacking strategy they adhere to, despite the belief that football has become more defensive generally.

"I think the fans respond enthusiastically to the way in which the team plays their football on the front foot, and we very much hope that this will be the case on Saturday," he adds.

"We scored more than most teams in the league spanning all divisions but, while this certainly does not give us any sense of complacency, it helps to give us drive and self-belief going forward into this Championship season."

The former Kilcoo and Down boss stresses that it's not only their avid followers who lap up Armagh's more expansive style of playing.

"It has to be said that the players themselves are enjoying this," insists McCorry.

"Obviously we have to get the balance right between putting scores on the board and keeping our house in order at the back, but I think we showed over the course of the league that we are capable of doing this.

"The challenge now will be to bring it up a level on Saturday because we know Fermanagh will be very keen to do well in front of their home crowd.

"From our perspective as management, there is a buoyancy and atmosphere about this Armagh side that are encouraging,."

McCorry is, however, adamant that Armagh are not looking beyond Saturday at this point in time.

"I know people are talking about Ulster and about the Super Eights, but in reality all we are talking about within our camp is Saturday's game at Enniskillen," he insists. "That's as far as we can look at this point in time. Anyone who is looking further than that is very, very naive on it.

"I think the perceived gap between some teams and other teams within Ulster is narrower than people think it to be.

"Obviously there were times last year when Tyrone were heralded as being in the top four in the country.

"Since then, Donegal have shown an improvement and Monaghan are still there of course.

"I was not surprised that Donegal beat Cavan last Sunday, but obviously there is quite a way to go in the Championship."

Belfast Telegraph


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