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'I’ve been involved in a lot weirder when it comes to the GAA' - McGeeney after Armagh Laois six subs mess

Geezer has previous experience of six sub fiascos.

Kieran McGeeney during last Saturday's clash with Laois
Kieran McGeeney during last Saturday's clash with Laois
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

KIERAN MCGEENEY HAS an unusually high level of experience when it comes to controversies involving six subs being used in GAA matches.

McGeeney’s Armagh side gained a reprieve when the GAA ordered a refixture of their All-Ireland qualifier after Laois used too many subs in last month’s game.

Armagh fell short after losing by a point on Saturday after being defeated by three points in the initial game.

But McGeeney is adamant that he’s been involved in more bizarre football scenarios.

During his club playing days with Na Fianna in Dublin, McGeeney twice experienced a similar controversy.

In 2001 Na Fianna were forced to replay their Leinster semi-final against Kildare’s Sarsfields after using six subs and then in 2002 the same situation occurred with Na Fianna in the Dublin championship against Raheny.

“It’s worse when you’re at the other end and you get put out. When we did it with Na Fianna, I think the time we beat Sarsfields it was by nine or 10 points and it was the same with Raheny.

“We were back into the (Leinster) competition (against Sarsfields) and we drew with them and it went to extra-time and it had a big impact on our ability to compete in that Leinster final.

“The second time against Raheny, we weren’t even given a replay so that was a lot worse than the last two weeks.

“I wouldn’t say it was anything weird or unusual (with Armagh), I’ve been involved in a lot weirder when it comes to the GAA.”

Kieran McGeeney Kieran McGeeney at yesterday's launch of Eir Sport. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

With Armagh’s season now having concluded, McGeeney insists that suffering league relegation was tougher to take in 2016.

“The hardest thing this year was losing our divisional status. We took a few chances at the start of the year playing with a lot of young players.

“We left a lot of the older players out at the beginning of the League to give them a bit of a break and the Crossmaglen boys were gone too.

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“Then when we went to take them back in they had a lot of injuries so it backfired a wee bit. We finished off the league fairly well – one more win and we would have been pushing for promotion rather than relegation and that was probably the most disappointing part of it.

“We still seem to struggle to convert our scoring chances – I think when it’s taken in perspective we’re playing as well as the teams we’re playing against but their efficiency is far greater than ours.

“It shouldn’t be because I think we have quality forwards as well. From my point of view I have to look at some of the stuff I’m doing and I’m doing wrong to make that conversion rate better.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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