Soon after missing out on a put in past year’s inaugual Tremendous 8s and promotion to Division A single in the spring, Armagh have been patted on the head and advised they’d dodged a bullet.
They weren’t completely ready for the large time, so it was for the best.
But check out telling that to the Armagh gamers.
“If you requested any inter-county player would they fairly development or remain in which they are… I indicate everyone is competitive,” claims captain Rory Grugan.
“It may have been in hindsight that we would have struggled to remain in Division One following 12 months, but how else are you likely to exam oneself?
“It was the exact same past 12 months. We ended up explained to we ended up greater off not acquiring to the Super 8s when you saw how Roscommon did, but you wouldn’t get a lot of players subscribing to that notion.”
Armagh missing a memorable higher-scoring shoot-out to Roscommon in Portlaoise, but the tricky luck stories have been really hard for Grugan to digest.
“The neutrals definitely loved that game but there is not much consolation for the gallant losers so I’d somewhat have been on the proper facet of the final result.
“The Tremendous 8s would have been a seriously very good stepping stone for us, and seeking to this calendar year it is one thing we would love to experience.”
Grugan teaches in St Fanchea’s Faculty in Enniskillen so becoming around house most of the time means he gets to hear very speedily what the admirers are imagining, and he thinks manager Kieran McGeeney gets an unfair rap once in a while.
Now he’s in his fifth calendar year as manager, he is waiting around for a first acquire in the Ulster SFC — and Sunday’s clash with Down in Newry represents a great possibility to break his duck.
“It’s there now, the history. There is nothing at all we can do about it besides check out and get this one particular and it’s a massive motivation, that’s only natural.
“For me as a player, for that to be involved with you and your workforce it is tough to get earlier.
“Stemming from that you have Kieran as this iconic player for Armagh and anyone we look up to so significantly as gamers, and have so considerably respect for him.”
Armagh ended up a single of the groups punished for heading on an overseas schooling camp past 12 months.
They also went to Portugal this 12 months between league and championship, possessing received permission from Croke Park, but the GAA are vetoing all pre-championship overseas excursions from 2020.
When they misplaced to Fermanagh in the initially spherical previous year, Armagh’s professional preparations became a chatting level — but Grugan has no regrets about the squad striving to be the most effective that they can be.
“I really don’t get the drive powering that (rule improve). If counties are creating guaranteed all their club fixtures are staying played, then it is hard to see the commitment powering it. It’s a bit discouraging, but it’s there now.
“You’re coaching the way you’d be teaching at residence, confident enough there’s a little bit of media scrutiny simply because you’re away — but you’re trying to win a sport in the championship.