Armagh footballer Jamie Clarke signs for Northern Ireland Premiership side

The Crossmaglen star has joined Newry City.

Jamie Clarke after Armagh's 2020 Ulster semi-final defeat to Donegal.
Jamie Clarke after Armagh's 2020 Ulster semi-final defeat to Donegal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

ARMAGH GAA STAR Jamie Clarke is “delighted” to have signed for Newry City AFC.

The Crossmaglen Rangers footballer’s arrival was announced last night, on the eve of Newry’s 2022/23 Northern Ireland Premiership opener against Carrick Rangers FC.

Clarke, 33, has excelled through a stop-start inter-county career with the Orchard county. The gifted forward is a joy to watch, but has taken a series of breaks from the set-up to travel and pursue his ambition of working in the fashion industry.

He has played some soccer, too — locally with Cartwheel United, and a stint at New York Shamrocks in Division 1 of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League while in the Big Apple.

It’s understood Clarke is also playing for Cross this year, but this new venture is an interesting one.

“Jamie is obviously well known for his exploits on the Gaelic pitch but he has shown in the short time he has been with us that he can add something to our attacking line up,” Newry manager Darren Mullen said.

“He’s a smart skillful player and is keen to show what he can do at this level of football.

“It will obviously take him a while to bed in but I’m looking forward to seeing him playing in a Newry shirt.”

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“I’m delighted to sign for Newry,” Clarke added, “everyone has been very welcoming in helping me settle in. It is an extremely close knit club and that comes through on the pitch.

“Darren has been excellent with me and I’ve been very impressed with him and the coaching staff’s plans for the season ahead. There’s a brilliant mix of youth and experience, including my own hometown friend James Teelan, who is an exceptional talent.

“I’ll put my head down now and put in the work to help the team in Premiership.”

Newry were promoted to the top-flight after winning the Championship last season, while Armagh reached the All-Ireland quarter-final, where they exited at the hands of Galway after a penalty shootout.

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Emma Duffy

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