So close and yet so far for Kieran McGeeney’s Armagh side, they fought right to the very end and displayed battling qualities that Geezer himself would have been proud of but it just wasn’t to be on the day as its Mayo who continue their championship campaign for 2019 with Armagh now looking on to 2020.
McGeeney’s post match interview demonstrated the belief he has for the men in orange and white and has faith that the future is bright for the Orchard County “They’ve been playing well all year, every game they’ve played in they’ve been competitive but probably don’t have the same dark arts experience that other team have so it just cost them at the end of games”.
“The fellas have moved really well this past couple of years they’ve been there or there abouts and we had a good competitive season, we just struggled at the end of a couple of games and it’s costs us but that comes with experience. With the age profile of the team, we have a couple of good younger players as well coming through so the futures definitely bright for them if they can stay strong as a unit and push on. We were probably the same in the mid 90s, you need one or two big wins just to get that momentum behind you and a bit of belief in the way you’re playing”.
Whether he’ll be the man leading the charges is still up in the air as he was unwilling to state if we will commit for next season, “It’s probably a bit early yet, I just couldn’t be any prouder of the players and it’s just a pity that they didn’t get more out of it, they deserved a wee bit more than that today but that’s the way it goes”.
“There’s one hundred and one reasons (not to stay on), the one thing about management is when you start there’s very few likes you and by the time you finish they nearly all don’t like you so it’s a tough station, you have to listen to some shit but when you work with fellas like that it can make it worthwhile”.
“They’re a really good bunch of fellas and it’s a joy to be able to go to training with them and just see them in action. They really go for things and they’ve no fear, I think they play a nice brand of football, they go at it. They don’t get rewarded for the way they play but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes”.
Geezer lamented some of the referee’s decisions, his sides injury list as well as Armagh’s missed chances that could have put them into round 4 of the qualifiers, “I thought there would have been a wee bit more time. Four minutes? There was at least 10 head injuries in the second half”.
“I don’t know how you can have so many head injuries in a game, it’s amazing, yet nobody’s taken off. We’ve played games this year with 6 or 7 minutes with no head injuries. The boys fought back valiantly, they just chipped away bit by bit and probably missed a couple. Jamie was unlucky with the goal and so was Rory, inches, they’re the big things in the big games. We probably had five of our starting team not out there today but that can happen. We have a good panel this year with a few fellas coming through so the futures bright for the group.”
Back to the drawing board for Armagh and the 2002 All Ireland winning captain believes this Armagh side are good enough to push for league promotion next season, “It’s definitely within their grasp because it was within their grasps this year too. You have Roscommon and Cavan coming down and Laois and Westmeath coming up, there’s good teams in it again but it’s well within them”.