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McConville: Give McGeeney more time

By Niall McCoy

KIERAN McGeeney has been backed for another season in charge by former Armagh teammate Oisin McConville.

The Orchard county’s season came to an end on Saturday following their thrilling Ulster semi-final defeat to Monaghan.

Overall, it was a positive season for the side as they maintained their Division One status but there was frustration that they were unable to make their first provincial final since 2008 – especially as they had regained the momentum and moved two points ahead after a superb second-half display.

If McGeeney opts to stay on it will be for an eighth season having also served a year as head coach prior to that when Armagh came so close to an All-Ireland semi-final spot before losing out to Donegal by a point at Croke Park.

It is unlikely there will be any resistance within the county to a request for an extension with positive progress quite evident, particularly in the National League arena.

Speaking to the BBC’S The GAA Social podcast, Crossmaglen legend McConville said that he should be granted another spell with the side.

“I think he’s made enough progress to suggest that he deserves another year,” McConville said.

“Whether he wants another year I’m not 100 per cent sure because, after the game, it seemed as if he was questioning himself.

“Then for people to decide whether he wants another year, I really don’t know what the thinking would be at county board level. What the aspirations are.

“Armagh in my head are now an established Division One team. The championship results have been nowhere near good enough but I think he probably deserves another shot at it next year.”

Speaking after the loss, McGeeney said of his future:

“I’ll always want to be about Armagh. It’s in my blood no matter where I go. It’s been part of who I am for my whole life.”

“There is a lot more in us but whether it’s me or someone else they’re a good bunch, they’re going places.”

Given the youthful profile of the squad, next to no retirements are expected in the camp although Brendan Donaghy could prove the exception having made his debut 14 years ago.

You can listen to the BBC’s GAA social podcast at https:www.bbc.co.ukprogrammesp09pyg4g.

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