The depth of the Armagh squad has improved massively over the last number of years and continues to develop.
On Sunday, Armagh were missing a number of regular starters, but still had enough quality to draw with Mayo.
James Morgan, Conor O’Neill, Greg McCabe, Stephen Sheridan, Ben Crealey and Aidan Nugent all started against Galway last season.
Ciaran Mackin, Niall Rowland and Mark Shields came off the bench. That’s nine players that, for one reason or another, weren’t available for Sunday’s clash.
O’Neill, Sheridan and Nugent lined out against Monaghan in the opening round but were unavailable last weekend.
Conor Turbitt returned following his one game suspension, and he earned the praise of Kieran Donaghy.
“The squad is strong, and the players are really pushing each other in training. It was huge to get Turbo back because he’s tall, quick, athletic, he has a really good eye for goal.
“You need competition, and you need players fighting for places. You need a bit of an edge every night in training, and he’ll certainly help in that regard.”
Squad depth is hugely important for a developing team like Armagh, especially one competing in Division One.
Armagh are missing a number of key men but as Donaghy points out, every team is the same at the minute.
“We have a pretty strong squad at the moment. Kieran has been echoing that since I first came up here three years ago, that we need to strengthen the core group of 30 guys that are going to go at each other in training games, to get us ready for days like this.”
Donaghy hailed the impact of the subs introduced on Sunday, with all four having good moments in the game.
“With three minutes to go we were down five points. It was frustrating to be in the position because I felt we had skill errors that aren’t like us, but we showed huge character.
“The energy that the subs gave us off the bench, Jason Duffy, Niall Grimley, Callum Cumiskey with that clearance off the line.
“Ross McQuillan made a few vital interceptions late on and great credit to them for brining that energy because that’s what we’re looking for coming into a game like that.”