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Fresh lift for Armagh and Cross as Clarke decides to stay

They say good news comes in threes and, if there’s any truth to that, then what next for the Orchard County?

After last night’s confirmation that Kieran McGeeney was to take over from Paul Grimley as Armagh GAA manager, comes a further boost to the county’s hopes for promotion out of Division 3.

Less than two weeks ago it was reported that Crossmaglen and Armagh ace Jamie Clarke was to up sticks, with plans to live in Spain for nine months.

It would have meant the fighting fit Clarke missing Cross’ championship run and Armagh’s 2015 league campaign.

But Clarke has now decided to stay and, while he did not feature in Crossmaglen’s win over Sarsfields last weekend, he is expected to start in this Sunday’s club championship game against Carrickcruppen.

His decision will also be a huge lift for the county and welcome news for new Armagh boss McGeeney, appointed by the Armagh County Board on a five-year contract last night (Wednesday).

McGeeney and Paul Grimley had worked together brilliantly in building a squad full of drive and determination, before the latter, after two years at the helm, decided to step down after the Orchardmen lost out to Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Clarke’s decision to stay will further bolster Armagh’s campaign next year, as Geezer aims to build on the solid foundations of an Armagh team brimming with the right mix of youth and experience to go all the way.

Picture by Conor Greenan

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