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Donegal’s hard work can pay off in All-Ireland Qualifier against Armagh: Michael Murphy

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Michael Murphy of Donegal remonstrates with Armagh ace Aidan Forker

Michael Murphy of Donegal remonstrates with Armagh ace Aidan Forker

Michael Murphy of Donegal remonstrates with Armagh ace Aidan Forker

Donegal skipper Michael Murphy smiles wryly whenever the word ‘retirement’ is mentioned.

He may be 32 and considered to have his best playing years behind him but not too many players in the recent history of the GAA can point to the fact that they have captained their sides for over a decade.

It was Murphy who took delivery of the Sam Maguire Cup in 2012 and although Donegal have flirted with success since, they have never managed to get their hands on the ‘big one’.

“It’s great to be part of the Donegal team and to be involved in the All-Ireland title race,” says Murphy.

Today he hopes to take another step along the route to a possible All-Ireland Final when he once again leads Donegal in a vital Championship encounter against Armagh.

Declan Bonner’s side have met Armagh in both League and Championship this year, winning both encounters and underlining their hunger for another helping of success.

And yet the teams will enter the fray at St Tiernach’s Park against somewhat contrasting backgrounds.

Donegal were halted in their tracks by a resurgent Derry in the Ulster Final while Armagh signalled the end of current All-Ireland champions Tyrone’s season.

All of which, of course, lends an added dimension to today’s game with Murphy acknowledging the pressure that will be felt by both teams.

“Armagh will obviously have got a great lift from that win over Tyrone while we have been picking ourselves up after that Ulster Final loss to Derry. We have worked hard in training since and hopefully this will be shown to good effect here,” says Murphy.


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