Where are they now? – Stephen Harold

After making his Armagh debut under the watchful eyes of Paul Grimley, Stephen Harold represented his county 12 times in the Championship.

His senior status with the Orchard County lasted three season, 2013-15, before work commitments cut his career short.

We caught up with the former midfielder to take a look back on his playing days, that may not be finished just yet.

When did you make your Armagh debut and what do you remember from the game?

It was in the McKenna Cup back in 2012. My inter-county debut would have actually been with New York back in 2011, but with Armagh it was in 2012 against Cavan in the McKenna Cup, in the Athletic Grounds.

We won convincingly enough and we met them again that year in the Ulster Championship first round (Harold’s Championship debut).

That was a terrible experience, we got beat badly, it was Paul Grimley’s first year in charge and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

When was your last game for Armagh?

I remember we played Galway in Salthill in the qualifiers, we got beat. I think that could have been in 2015, it wasn’t a good day.

What was the best game you were involved in during your time with Armagh?

From a personal point of view it was probably the relegation battle we were in, in Division Two (2013). We played Galway in the Athletic Grounds and we won that game convincingly (0-21 to 1-12).

From a team perspective I suppose it would be 2014 quarter final against Donegal in Croke Park. It was a good experience; there was a good crowd and a good atmosphere and a good build up to the game. So that was probably my best memory from playing with Armagh.

Who was your toughest opponent?

Neil Gallagher (Donegal) I always found was a tough opponent. He was an all-round player, he was athletic, strong, good in the air, he good do a bit of everything. It didn’t help obviously with Durcan in nets being able to ping the ball out to him too.

Who was the best player you played with?

I would say it’s got to be Jamie, most all-round, most talented player, Jamie Clarke.

What was the biggest regret of your career?

Not winning more medals, I have no medals to show for it.

Are you still involved in the GAA?

I’m involved in the GAA from a coaching perspective. I’ve coached Kildare for a few years; I’ve worked with Killeavy, Mayobridge, Down.

I’m a Strength and Conditioning coach and that’s one of the reasons why I left Armagh, because I had my own health and fitness business that took priority.

Strength and Conditioning was heavily involved in that and that led me down to coaching teams within the GAA and that’s still what I do today.

Obviously with the nature of that business you’re working the evenings you should be training and something had to give.

I took the focus off the football and the way things are now, you have to focus 100%, especially at inter-county level, you can’t have external work commitments.

I’m not playing at the moment, I’m now living in North Dublin and I know they have a GAA club here so there’s no better way to be involved in the community that playing a bit of GAA so maybe it’s something I will consider.