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Minor success crucial: Armagh boss

Armagh were crowned All-Ireland Minor football champions two years ago and since then several of the players have gone on to make an impact at senior level with their clubs.

The importance of success at provincial and All-Ireland levels in terms of promotion of the game has already been stressed by Armagh manager Paul McShane in the build-up to tomorrow's Ulster Minor final between his county and Cavan.

"Obviously you are guaranteed nothing by achieving success at Minor level but at the same time it can represent an important stepping stone in players' careers," states McShane.

"We are delighted to be back in the Ulster final with a new side and this will be a big challenge."

It was after a tense quarter-final win over Down by 3-11 to 5-4 that Armagh cantered to a landslide win over Fermanagh in the semi-final to book their place in tomorrow's decider against a buoyant Breffni side that in claiming the scalp of highly-fancied Tyrone in their semi-final set down a marker that they really have their eyes on the silverware.

The upsurge in interest at Minor level within Cavan delights the team's joint managers Gary Donohoe and Dermot McCabe.

"We have had a game plan to which we have stuck strongly and it has served us well to date," says Donohoe.

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Paul McGeown - who scored 1-8 against Down - Ciaran O'Hanlon and Michael McKenna are key players in the Armagh attack while skipper Colm Hoey marshals the defence from centre-half-back.

It's 23 years since Cavan last won the provincial decider at this level but they might just find that Armagh's hunger and ambition are that little bit too strong.


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