Findon calls on Armagh to set early benchmark
In the not too distant past, teams could indulge in the luxury of feeling their way into a new season nurtured by the hope that they would come good when the championship rigours were intense.
That has, of course, ceased to be the case and when Armagh confront Louth in the second semi-final of the O'Fiaich Cup at Oliver Plunkett Park, Crossmaglen tonight (8.00pm) it may not rank of great importance in the context of the overall fixtures calendar but try telling that to midfield powerhouse Aaron Findon.
"Every county is looking to get a bit of momentum going," pointed out Findon.
"By the end of February the O'Fiaich and McKenna Cup competitions will have been put to bed and teams will be maybe half-way through their league programmes so by then we will have an idea of where we are at."
And Findon, who is expected to be one of the main pillars of Kieran McGeeney's side his year, is adamant that a good start is essential in terms of building confidence.
"Look at the win Tyrone had against Derry on Sunday. They will have taken heart from that and now we must try and hit the ground running ourselves but Louth will not be easy. I'm prepared to do as much as I can and I believe that if we all pull together we can make headway," stated Findon.
"We got out of Division Three but Division Two will now be a big learning curve for us and if you enter the league with decent performances behind you then it puts you in with a chance of making more progress."
Manager McGeeney is prepared to take a gamble with youth against a Louth side that is currently preparing for the O'Byrne Cup in January in which they will meet Offaly, Kildare and DIT.
Meanwhile, Crossmaglen Rangers and Rostrevor will meet in the quarter-final of the Ulster Club minor tournament on Sunday.
The match had been scheduled for Saturday last but was ruled out because of weather conditions. The winners will meet Tyrone side Moortown in.