No approach yet to Tommy on Armagh job

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ST Paul’s Tommy Stevenson has confirmed he has not been approached to take over as trainer of the Armagh senior team.

This is despite the fact that rumours have been sweeping the county that the Lurgan strength and fitness coach will be getting the job.

The St Paul’s clubman has told the ‘MAIL’ that he hasn’t been approached about the post which had been left vacant when Mike McGurn was moved to solely concentrate on county underage squads.

McGurn, who is better known for his strength and conditioning training methods in the game of rugby, was part of Anthony Tohill’s back up team during the recent compromise rules series.

He is believed to be under a three year contract with Armagh and it has been gathered that he had been very popular with the county players.

Tommy Stevenson, who has been involved with Armagh underage squads in the past and has also trained the county’s hurling team, currently is strength and conditioning coach in a structured capicity with Derry club Lavey.

Tommy said: “I have been asked whether or not I would be taking up a training role with the Armagh seniors.

“The short answer is that I certainly wouldn’t rule it out but as things stand no approach has been made directly from the Armagh set up.

“Most coaches or trainers would love to be involved in some capicity with their county and I am no different but rumours are rumours so I will have to see how this all pans out.”

Currently the Armagh seniors, who start their New Year calendar with a McKenna Cup campaign are being trained at a Newry gym by former cyclist and runner Barry Monaghan who, for a number of years had been employed by the Newry and Mourne Council.

Barry, in the past, had been the team director of Cycling Ireland and he also competed in several triathlon and cross country races.

The 44 year old is currently putting in place a training regime for the Armagh seniors but it is not known whether or not he will be on the sidelines on match days.

Armagh have struggled to gain a level of continuity since Joe Kernan stepped down from the senior management post.

Mullaghbawn man Peter McDonnell, despite winning an Ulster Championship at his first attempt, stepped down after two years in charge.

With Armagh’s Ulster and All-Ireland odds continuing to lengthen, the arrival of Paul Grimley could turn the tide in 2012 and a number of new faces are expected to be given county debuts in the New Year.