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Grimley return a massive boost for Armagh

By John Campbell

Paul Grimley, the coach who made his mark on Armagh’s 2002 All-Ireland triumph, is poised to return to the Orchard County as No 2 to manager Paddy O’Rourke.

And the appointment of the hugely popular Grimley, a member of the Pearse Og club in Armagh city, is being widely welcomed throughout the county.

It was under the baton of the then manager Joe Kernan that Grimley made a substantial input into Armagh’s epic triumph under the inspirational captaincy of Kieran McGeeney nine years ago.

It was no big surprise that after having fulfilled a role with Cavan in 2007, Grimley moved to become McGeeney’s assistant in Kildare before being named No 2 to Seamus McEnaney in Monaghan and then following the latter to Meath in a similar capacity last year.

But Armagh followers were always hopeful that Grimley would return to his native county and now it seems they have got their wish.

There has been considerable speculation recently about the future of manager O’Rourke with a number of fans calling for his head.

But the county board have decided to retain O’Rourke for a third term although with a different backroom team and the acquisition of Grimley will now ferment considerable optimism that Armagh can make a bold bid to regain the status they once enjoyed.

Armagh officials have expressed disappointment that what one referred to as “the notion of player power” had crept into the public domain recently when it was suggested that two long-established players had taken a different stance on policy.

Armagh, who lost to Derry in the Ulster Championship and then went out to Tyrone in the All-Ireland qualifiers, have fallen from grace recently and have some way to go before they can re-join the football elite.

The arrival of Grimley though should ensure that any players who might have been pondering their future involvement will now throw their weight behind what is certain to be an all-out effort to rekindle former glories.

Belfast Telegraph


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