Armagh’s championship opener against Donegal looks “almost impossible” due to the suspensions picked up after the final league game, according to Oisin McConville.
The game, played in Letterkenny, ended in a melee and. At the minute, Ciaran Mackin, Aidan Nugent, Stefan Campbell and Rian O’Neill look set to miss Armagh’s first round clash.
Donegal will be without defenders Neil McGee and Odhran McFadden-Ferry, after they decided not to appeal their one-match bans.
Ciaran Mackin was in superb form throughout the league while Rian O’Neill was Armagh’s top scorer.
Nugent, joint captain of the team along with O’Neill, top scored against Donegal with 1-6. Campbell’s biggest impact has been off the bench off this year.
“This whole thing was avoidable from an Armagh point of view. You just don’t get involved but that’s easier said than done,” explained McConville, speaking on the hugely popular BBC podcast, ‘The GAA Social’.
“Donegal have to be laughing at this stage, have to be laughing. Neil McGee probably wasn’t going to play any part or very limited part in that (championship) game.
“Odhran McFadden-Ferry, he’s one of their main man-markers but he hasn’t really played a lot of championship football in the last number of years through injury and being away.”
While Armagh’s squad depth has deservingly picked up a lot of praise this year, McConville suggests that the four missing players are irreplaceable.
The 2002 All-Ireland winner believes that the game is now “almost impossible” for Armagh to win.
“I don’t think they’re (Donegal) really missing that much. Whereas I think Armagh are missing, they’re definitely missing three starters and one person who makes a serious impact off the bench, as we seen even in the Monaghan game in the league this year.
“It makes a game that was very winnable into almost impossible to see Armagh winning now without those four boys. Probably impossible.”