Antrim a “different threat” for Armagh

Just three months ago, Armagh welcomed Antrim to the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds to kick off their 2023 season.

That was in the opening round of the McKenna Cup, which the home side dominated from start to finish.

Armagh ran out easy winners that night. Goals from Conor Turbitt and Joe Sheridan put them 12-points clear by the time the final whistle sounded.

Armagh won’t read too much into that result, however, says team coach Ciaran McKeever. “The McKenna Cup was just about getting minutes into the players for every team.

“We wouldn’t have dialled too much into that game. But we have a lot of video on them, and I went to go watch them play in Newry against Down.

“I was very impressed with them that night. I actually left when they were five points up, only to find out when I went home that they had lost!

“But Andy (McEntee) has done a really good job there. He has them well organised; he has plenty of good players on the pitch, and they have really threatening pace.

“So, we just have to take them on their merit, and prepare properly,” added the former Armagh captain.

Photo Credit: John Merry

McKeever is expecting a different challenge from what Armagh faced throughout their Division One league campaign.

“I don’t think any game in Ulster is going to be a walkover. As I said earlier, Antrim have good ball players all over the pitch, and have always had.

“Andy has them well organised, and they’re going to pose a different threat to us than Tyrone and Kerry and Galway did.

“They have a different type of style, they’re more like a ‘sevens’ team, who keeps the ball, and likes breaking the lines at pace.

“So, we’re under no illusions that they’ll pose a different threat than what we have faced to date. But we just have to be diligent in our preparation.”