O’Rourke resigns as Armagh suffer shock defeat by the Rossie’s
It came as little surprise late last night (Sunday 1st July) when news began to filter through that Paddy O’ Rourke had made the decision to walk away from the Armagh setup that he was involved with since being appointed manager in 2009.
Armagh finished the first half of the Roscommon match 5 points clear and in the driving seat with Crossmaglen’s Jamie Clarke in vivacious form with a personal tally of 1-3. However, in the second half Roscommon realised Clarke’s potency was hurting them and double marked him. This ended the supply to Clarke and Armagh simply had nobody to take scores when Clarke’s chances were limited.
Amazingly, Armagh were limited to just two points in the second half as the Connacht minnows ran out winners to a score line of 1-11 to 1-09. After the defeat Armagh County Committee announced that O’Rourke’s three year tenure as manager had “reached its conclusion”.
“Paddy has informed the County Chairman that he will not be seeking it renewed,” a statement said.
“The board would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Paddy who has been a true gentleman, a pleasure to work with and for the level of commitment he showed to Armagh, which often went well over and beyond the call of duty. We encountered many enjoyable days under his stewardship for which we will be eternally grateful.”
The Down man’s appointment 3 years ago sent shock-waves across the county as he is seen as a Down legend for his heroics on the field for the Mournemen whilst captaining them to All Ireland glory.
Many of the Armagh panel past and present have tweeted their support for the Burren man with Stevie McDonnell saying ‘Sorry to see Paddy go as Armagh boss. People on the outside will never realise the lengths that this man will go to for his players.’ While Aaron Kernan said, ‘Today’s defeat is a hard one to swallow. A lot to improve on to be competitive again. POR is a true Gael & a man I have utmost respect for.’
There is a lot of speculation and rumours within the county that the door is now open for Kieran ‘Geezer’ McGeeney to come in from Kildare to take over his much beloved county, others also point at the two McEntee twins, one thing is for sure, the next few months are going to be very important for the future of Armagh football.
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