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'Kieran Donaghy can bring on their game in a massive way' - Kerry great backed to play big role with Armagh

Oisín McConville says his nephews will benefit from the four-time All-Ireland winner.

Kieran Donaghy [file photo].
Kieran Donaghy [file photo].
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

OISÍN MCCONVILLE SAYS Kerry legend Kieran Donaghy will bring “a lot of know-how” to the Armagh backroom team as he links up with the Orchard county for the 2021 season.

Donaghy’s appointment was announced back in December, with manager Kieran McGeeney saying at the time that the four-time All-Ireland winner will be part of their coaching unit.

As the start of the National League approaches, McConville says that his county will benefit from Donaghy’s input.

“I think the boys had saw him once or possibly twice before things went into lockdown,” McConville says.

“I think the initial reaction was very, very positive. I think it’s something different. You’re taking a whole new perspective.

“A lot of the time it’s been Ulster coaches going to Leinster, Connacht, Munster. Whereas this time around, that’s been flipped on its head. So I think it’s a positive thing, and I think there’s a lot of know-how there, and there’s certain players in particular who Kieran Donaghy can help bring on their game in a massive way.”

Elaborating on which players specifically can learn the most from Donaghy’s instruction, McConville added:

“I was thinking my nephews, Rian and Oisín in particular. The fact that they play in that sector of the field. But also I’m thinking the likes of Stefan Campbell who over the last number of years has probably played in all six positions in the forward-line.

“Maybe he can help him [figuring out] what are his best positions to pick up, because I think he has a big role to play in this Armagh team this year. Then the likes of Ross McQuillan coming back from Aussie Rules. So lads like that. They’re the ones that spring to mind instantly.”

The league has been reformatted this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Divisions have been split into their geographical regions, leaving Armagh in a Division 1 North group.

McConville describes Armagh’s division as a “mini-Ulster championship” and says the main aim for his county is to retain their top tier status.

“I think it would be great if Armagh could stay in Division 1. A number of years, obviously… look it’s not ideal. 

“They play Donegal, Tyrone and Monaghan. Realistically, I think at this stage, not having seen any football or how these teams are motoring, I think there’s a distinct possibility that both Monaghan games, if they happen, are massive games for Armagh.

“First of all I think whoever wins that game between Armagh and Monaghan will stay in Division 1. And then if Armagh can get over Antrim and Monaghan get over Fermanagh, there’s an unbelievable opportunity for those teams to get into an Ulster final.

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“Like we saw last year with Cavan, you just don’t know what can happen in an Ulster final. It’s a massive year for Armagh.

“To be honest, a run in the Ulster Championship is probably imperative for them at this stage. When they look back at last year, and how poor they were against Donegal, how they capitulated very, very early in that game, I think they will be a wounded animal going into this year, and it’s something they will be mentioning quite a bit.

“It’s a massive year for Armagh in that regard, and to try get some stability in Division 1 and maybe a run in the Ulster Championship.”

Oisín McConville was speaking to the media to promote the Extern Problem Gambling.
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