McKeever praises “excellent” Armagh support

Armagh coach Ciaran McKeever is hoping Armagh fans come out in their droves to support their county this Sunday in Clones.

The Monaghan venue was packed with orange and white supporters two weeks ago, as the Orchard overcame Down.

This Sunday, Armagh will line out in the Ulster final for the first time since 2008. McKeever, who played that day, praised Armagh’s loyal fanbase.

“If you go back through the last decade,” said McKeever after Armagh saw off Down in the Ulster semi-final.

“When we were jumping from Division Three to Division Two and then back to Division Three, these fans have been excellent.

“They have stayed with us; they have travelled in numbers, and this is massive for them as well. They are intitled to enjoy tonight and intitled to enjoy the build-up.

“Hopefully they will come here in large numbers again and hopefully we can give them something else to chat about.”

Ulster final

To qualify for the decider, Armagh saw off three Division Three teams in Antrim, Cavan and Down.

That set up a winner takes all encounter with reigning champions Derry. They will be a step up from what Armagh have faced in this campaign.

Armagh despite, relegation, competed at the top tier for the past three years and McKeever believes that experience will stand to them.

Photo Credit: John Merry

“I think it is massive. You have to dine and play at the top table, the game management, seeing out games, controlling games.

“It is a completely different aspect of Division One. I think the past three years have helped this group of players and helped them ultimately to an Ulster Final.

“They (Derry) are a very athletic team, good ball players throughout the pitch,” added the Cullyhanna native.

“They are well condensed and compact in defence and when they attack, they attack with 15 players and try to flatten other teams’ defences out.

“We know the challenge that lies ahead of us. But we will be diligent in our preparation over the next two weeks, and we will come with a plan and hopefully get over the line.”