Armagh have the chance to earn their third topflight victory of the season when they welcome Kildare to the Athletic Grounds this weekend.
They haven’t achieved that feat since 2005. The year they captured their one and only Division One National League title in 2005.
Kieran McGeeney’s managerial career will forever tie the two counties. This weekend’s clash is the fifth time Geezer wears a bainisteoir bib during the fixture.
It happened first in 2010. The 2002 All-Ireland winning captain came up against his native county while managing the Lilywhites in a Division Two encounter.
Armagh won that contest, 0-12 to 0-5. They have beaten Kildare in three of their last four meetings, the only draw coming in 2019.
Their 2017 qualifier win in Croke Park over Kildare was one of the highlights of Kieran McGeeney’s tenure. A win this weekend would more or less secure top tier status for another season.
McGeeney has been building a side that can compete at the highest level since he took over the job eight years ago. He seems to have finally got the squad to do so.
Armagh’s bench has had a serious impact in all of their outings. They now have players coming on that would get their place in a lot of the top sides starting teams.
There are loads of options up front. The likes of Oisin O’Neill, Conor Turbitt and Stefan Campbell are all unable to nail down a starting place.
Momentum is key to remaining in the division and Armagh are coming off their first loss of the campaign. Mayo ruined their unbeaten run the last day out.
Kildare are coming into the game having earned their first victory of the campaign and with it they have put to bed over a decade of hurt.
Nobody knows more than Armagh the bounce beating the Dubs can give a team. They’ve been well warned ahead of this weekend.
Kildare, with their dream team management of Glenn Ryan, Anthony Rainbow, Johnny Doyle and Dermot Early, will march into the Athletic Grounds with massive confidence.
They need the points. They certainly have enough talent in their ranks to pose serious questions of their hosts.
Mick O’Grady, Jimmy Hyland and Kevin Feely are all superb footballers while Daniel Flynn is something special in the forward line.
James Morgan and Aidan Forker have got the better of Flynn in recent meetings. The latter is likely to be handed the task once again on Saturday.
Armagh are perhaps further along in their development and with the comfort of home advantage, they should have enough to get the win.