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Kingham focused on glory for Orchard County

John Kingham has no regrets about turning his back on his native Monaghan in order to bolster Armagh’s hopes of winning the Ulster senior football championship title.

Kingham was introduced to the Orchard County squad by manager Paddy O’Rourke earlier this year and has played at midfield and full-forward.

His crucial goal which helped to underpin a surprise league win over Kerry in Tralee further served to underline Kingham’s value as a target man and now the former Donaghmoyne club player admits he would relish the role against the Red Hands on Sunday.

“I prefer to play at full-forward although I would take any position given to me in the team,” says Kingham who now plays his club football with Culloville where he is under the baton of former Armagh All-Ireland winner John McEntee.

Yet his aerial ability could prove vital to Armagh’s hopes against Tyrone, particularly as he has matured rapidly over the course of the league.

With Kieran Toner and Charlie Vernon understood to be in pole position to form the midfield partnership, assuming both are declared fit, Kingham nevertheless offers an option here as indeed does Malachy Mackin who is fully-fit again following an injury that forced him to miss the latter stages of the league.

Monaghan are already through to the Ulster semi-final having beaten Antrim but while Kingham is happy to see Eamonn McEnaney’s side progress, he is totally focused on striving to ensure that Armagh join them in the last four.

“This game against Tyrone is the biggest I have ever been involved with in my career so far,” explains the towering Kingham.

“We know that they will be coming to the Morgan Athletic Grounds with victory very much in their sights and it will be up to us to deny them that.

“They may have a few injury problems but there is a great depth to their squad and they still have loads of experience in their side.”

And he is in no doubt that Tyrone will be buoyed for Sunday’s contest by their promotion in the league. “Tyrone did very well in the league while we did not do ourselves justice in some of our games and were relegated. But it will be all to play for on Sunday irrespective of league form,” maintains Kingham.

“We have some very good young players here who I feel will be there for many years to come and they are certainly up for this challenge.

“There is a strong bond among the Armagh players and we know that Sunday offers us a big opportunity to really make a name for ourselves.”

Belfast Telegraph