Monaghan v Armagh – Castleblayney – 7.30pm
Sean Conlon and Antoin McParland both trudged off the field in Ballybofey last season knowing Armagh hadn’t done themselves justice.
Donegal were the better team on the night and eased over the line with seven-points to spare in the end.
But Conlon, this years u-20 captain, and vice-captain McParland, hope they can carry that hurt into this evenings championship opener.
“Every player knows how we were beat and why we were beat,” said McParland. “That’s the big thing this year is to close that gap.”
“We didn’t perform as a whole team,” added Conlon. “Once you go out in championship, you’re looking to give your best performance and just on the night it didn’t work out for us.
“We’re going to carry that hurt into the Monaghan game and try to use it to show that the Armagh u-20s are a force to be reckoned with.”
They take on Monaghan in Castleblayney this evening in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship.
Armagh have some momentum heading into the game having won the league, beating Monaghan in the first round.
That game was a number of weeks ago and McParland believes they can’t read into that result too much.
“They were missing men and we were missing men, but you can’t really take anything from the league. Championship is a different ball game, and, on the day, the better team wins.
“Training’s been excellent,” added the St Paul’s clubman, who lined out for the Lurgan club in last year’s Intermediate Championship final.
“The whole panel has been top notch; everyone is giving 100% and our eyes are on that Monaghan game.”
Conlon says the side can’t wait to get going and kickstart their championship campaign. “We’re really looking forward to the start of the championship,” said the Silverbridge man.
“We got a good block of work done in preseason and then the league really helped us to step up our game.
“Championship’s all about winning and everyone wants to win a championship. We’re really looking forward to getting started.”