Stevenson urges Armagh caution after draw

Orchard County could soon be back training

Kieran McGeeney.

Eugene Creaney

Reporter:

Eugene Creaney

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info@yourlurgan.com

With Armagh having been drawn out of the hat to face Antrim in this season's Ulster Championship, former Ulster legend Dennis Stevenson is urging caution.

Although Kieran McGeeney's side on paper, have avoided all the big guns the Saffrons now managed by former Tyrone All Stars Enda McGinley and Stephen O'Neill, will be formidable opponents according to the former Sarsfield's player

He said, “When I was playing, the first thing that came into your head was that we can beat Antrim, but I can assure you that wasn't always the case. 

“At present Antrim have former Tyrone players Enda McGinley and Stephen O’Neill in charge, who are both highly respected coaches, so you could be expecting to have to navigate a very well organised defensive formation."

The former Armagh corner back however said that a run in Division 1 will be crucial for McGeeney’s side.

“I would have a lot of time for the way Kieran has dedicated himself to the job, a good run in the top flight will be ideal preparation for the championship,” he added.

Dennis underlined that with knock out football, teams may not get a chance to build up a run of form before the Championship.

He warned, “When I was with Sarsfield's and Armagh we knew nothing other than knock out games, so league games will bring the players on.

“The Championship game with Antrim will really focus the minds. Armagh's run in recent years hasn't been very impressive in Ulster.

“Cavan's success in Ulster in one off games has made the fans and all the other counties sit up and take notice, so we know to be prepared.”

The Derrytrasna man who was named on the Armagh team of the century, was highly respected as a player.

He played in his club’s senior Armagh title win in 1990 under manager Brian Mc Alinden.

Dennis concluded, “There are no easy games in Ulster, you could say we have avoided the big guns like Cavan, Tyrone and Donegal, but Antrim will be quietly confident of giving a good account of themselves.

“The knock out sudden death scenario will test any team, we could be in for another interesting season," suggested the former Ulster defender.

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