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Hughes takes on Armagh job

Brendan Hughes, who guided Pearse Og to the Armagh Senior Football Championship title in 2009, is expected to be confirmed as the final piece in the Orchard County team management jigsaw.

And former Ulster rugby captain Andy Ward is to become the new strength and conditioning coach with the Antrim football team.

Hughes, who possesses a voracious appetite for football and travels far and wide to take in games, will join Paul Grimley and Mike McGurn in Paddy O’Rourke’s set-up.

Even though he is based in Derry, where he is a schoolteacher, Hughes — a native of Keady — has given Pearse Og total commitment since taking up his post.

Hughes is an experienced coach and has shown that he thrives on challenges.

His credentials will certainly be tested with Armagh given that the side were fortunate to retain their place in Division One of the National League and, apart from a fine win over Down, had an undistinguished championship campaign this year.

Just last Sunday, Hughes saw Pearse Og beaten by Crossmaglen 0-13 to 0-9 but he had the satisfaction of plotting the downfall of Rangers in the 2009 season when Ogs won a thrilling quarter-final.

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Meanwhile, Dublin's All-Ireland winning captain Bryan Cullen is due to take up a full-time backroom role with Leinster rugby.

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