ARMAGH opened their account last Sunday with a convincing nine -point win over Cavan and are on the road again this weekend as they head to Kiltoom to take on Roscommon.
It’s a difficult start to the league for the Orchard County, with two away games, but manager Shane McCormack is excited to play new teams.
“It is a difficult start but it’s great this year, there’s eight teams in the league, last year and the last couple of years it’s two or three games and you’re playing the same teams. But you’re going everywhere in Ireland now and that’s what we want. We have a strong panel, and everyone is going to get equal game time,” said McCormack, a former Kildare goalkeeper.
“We played four games before the league and four good challenge games and every one of those girls got the very same game time which was great. They were able to express themselves for the league now and it’s great looking forward.
“We haven’t played the likes of Roscommon in a while and Tipperary, Westmeath, I suppose we played Laois last year, but these are new teams. We can’t take anything for granted and another good performance like last weekend is what we’re looking for.”
Armagh took a while to spring into action against Cavan, with two second half goals from Aoife McCoy and Aoife Lennon ensuring they left with the full complement of points. But it was the Orchard defence, particularly Clodagh McCambridge, that really caught the eye.
“It wasn’t always going to be easy coming down here to Cavan’s home patch,” said McCormack, following his first competitive game in charge.
“There was a bit of a breeze there in the first half and a bit of a hill, so we wanted to go out a little bit quicker, but I suppose three points (up) at half time, we always knew Cavan were going to come at us.
“But I have to say, the messages went across to the girls at half time and they stuck to it, and we really powered on. Fitness wise, we really took over and even with the girls coming on, it was a big thing. There were a lot of new girls into the panel this year and they got their competitive introduction here today and we’re delighted for that and for the future of Armagh.
“We’re introducing them into it and there’s six more games so they will get game time and that’s what it’s all about, it’s all about cohesion.
“Even with some of the older girls, they’d really be welcoming some of the girls onto the panel. Some of the girls are only 18 and they’re coming in and this is their first taste but it’s good for the future of Armagh.
“I suppose this year we have a defensive coach Stephen (Sheeran) and a forwards coach Joe (Feeney) and we’re really working hard on that aspect, especially on our defence. You can see today that it was rock solid so I’m very happy about that.”