Talented players in set up - Kieran

IT will take a few years before Armagh’s youngsters can establish themselves.

That is the view of Kieran Robinson, who was part of the Armagh management team which won the All Ireland minor title back in 2009.

He has suggested that the county senior set up has still got many talented players but he believes that it could still take a few years for the young lads to become established inter-county players.

The Annaghmore man, who is currently coaching the Sarsfields senior team alongside manager Gerard Skelton, similar to many Armagh fans is still coming to terms with the shock defeat to Roscommon last Sunday.

He stressed that the All-Ireland victory in 2002 came ten years after the county had made a breakthrough at minor level.

He said: “We (the Armagh minor management of ‘09) had a fantastic group of players to work with. Some of those players have already played senior inter-county football but it could still take a number of years before those young players can show their true worth.”

Kieran Robinson, along with Paul McShane and Brendan Hughes, could have won further All-Ireland minor titles with Armagh had a bit of luck gone their way.

But he believes that the game has become so professional that only the best equipped counties will be able to challenge for All Ireland honours in the future.

He said: “Things have advanced even further since the All-Ireland win back in 2002. When you look at the professional approach of counties like Donegal and Dublin, who have morning training sessions and evening training sessions four or five days a week, it gives you an indication of where the game is at the moment.

“I have no doubt that players like Ruairi Grugan, Gavin McPartland, Aidan Forker, along with Eugene McVerry and the likes of Declan McKenna, will make top class senior players. But at present they are playing against seasoned footballers who have years of conditioning to their credit so it will take the young players which we managed in 2009 more time to mature.”

With Paddy O’Rourke’s managerial tenure now at an end, does Kieran Robinson believe that the team would benefit from having managerial back up from a coach who has worked with the county minors?

“It’s difficult to know how all of this will pan out,” he said, “and although I certainly can’t speak for Paul McShane, it is my belief that he might show an interest if approached.”

Although similar to other counties, there is no guarantee that senior success will follow minor success.

If Kieran Robinson’s theory is correct it could be a number of years before Armagh are again ready to push for honours.