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McGeeney reaches end of Armagh line

By John Campbell

Kieran McGeeney, who led Armagh to their only All Ireland title to date in 2002, has stepped down from the inter-county football arena.

The 35-year-old McGeeney has been part of the fabric of the Armagh side for over fifteen years and, as well as taking delivery of the Sam Maguire Cup five years ago, he also pocketed six Ulster championship medals, shared in Railway Cup triumphs with Ulster and led Ireland in the International Rules series.

McGeeney, who won Armagh and Ulster club championship medals with Mullaghbawn in 1995 before transferring to the Na Fianna club in Dublin with whom he won three county and one Leinster honour, is regarded as one of the best defenders ever to have emerged from Ulster.

Robust, committed and fearless, McGeeney led by splendid example throughout what proved a golden era for Armagh football.

He collected three Allstar awards, was named Footballer of the Year in 2002 and previously shared in Sigerson Cup success with Queen's University.

His unquenchable spirit, fierce pride and tremendous energy made him a respected - and feared - opponent.

His towering performances for Armagh were complemented by his majestic input for Ireland in the International Rules - a sector in which he was particularly outstanding.

He was named captain for a series by the then manager Sean Boylan and, having made his Rules debut in 1998, brought vast experience to this sphere.

His decision to step down from county football will now lead to speculation that some of Armagh's other senior citizens such as Paul McGrane, Oisin McConville and Enda McNulty may follow suit.

There are anxious days ahead for recently-appointed new boss Peter McDonnell.

Belfast Telegraph

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