Lurgan’s Ryan Henderson says he has got his hunger back for gaelic football and he has told The Mail he will be targeting a return to the county squad.
The Clann Eireann attacker made a name for himself in school football particularly with St. Michael’s and although the player made several cameo appearances with Armagh he officially burst on the scene scoring four goals and three points against Wexford in a league game back in 2009.
Henderson, for the past number of years, has been focusing on Irish League football, he made a name for himself firstly as a high scoring midfielder at Donegal Celtic, but following a move to Linfield where he suffered badly through injury, he was released and is currently with Ards.
For the past number of seasons Ryan has made only a handful of appearances for Clann Eireann, he lined out in a withdrawn half forward role in the Shore Road club’s championship game against Clan na Gael during the summer, but the Lurgan man realises he will have to prove he is good enough to impress the Armagh management.
Ryan said, “To be honest I have enjoyed my periods with both Donegal Celtic and Linfield, but being away from gaelic has given me a hunger to get involved again. Like a lot of other club players I would love to play for Armagh, but firstly there would have to be a focus on my club and then see what happens after that.”
If Ryan can impress Paul Grimley and Kieran McGeeney and once again secure a place on the county squad he could line out along side a lot of flair players including Jamie Clarke, Robbie Tasker, Stefan Campbell Sefan Forker and Tony Kernan, Although Henderson is still on the books at Ards, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to pre-season training with Clann Eireann after Christmas. A return to county football however would no doubt require full commitment to Paul Grimley’s new regime.
Ryan is under no false illusions. “The battle for places in the Armagh squad will be intense, particularly with Kieran McGeeney having a hand in things. Kieran will be expecting the full package, every player has aspirations to play for Armagh and will have to show the required dedication, but I would say there is a great buzz among many county players who looking forward to the new season.”
Ryan was in outstanding form for Clann Eireann who were promoted from Division 2 back in 2011, he was part of the Armagh side which won the All Ireland Under 21 title back in 2004, his double barrelled career could be streamlined over the winter months, as he contemplates lining out along side the Clann’s new rising stars Shay Heffron, Johnny Tarode, John Magee and James McDade but to name a few.