O'Rourke poised for Armagh recall

2002 All-Ireland winner and All-Star Aidan O'Rourke is expected to see action for Armagh during the 2008 Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup.

2002 All-Ireland winner and All-Star Aidan O'Rourke is expected to see action for Armagh during the 2008 Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup.

A combination of injuries, players being on holiday, with All-Ireland club commitments or tied to college teams mean new Armagh manager Peter McDonnell is missing half his panel.

First team regulars such as Paul Hearty, Kieran McKeever, Aaron Kernan, Stephen Kernan, Oisin McConville and Paddy McKeever are amongst the absent players.

The Orchard county begin their McKenna Cup Group A campaign against Derry in Lurgan (throw-in 2pm) on Sunday and O'Rourke, who has not played for Armagh since their 2006 Ulster final win over Donegal, is set to win a surprise recall.

The teak-tough defender is available for selection despite being manager of the Queen's University team for the early season competition.

None of Queen's McKenna Cup group matches clash with Armagh's games so O'Rourke could feature both on and off the field in the coming weeks.

O'Rourke's 2002 All-Ireland winning team-mate Paul McGrane may be forced into action this weekend. The midfield ace was hoping to take a longer winter break as his wife is expecting their second child shortly but his experience may be needed at Davitt Park.

While Malachy Mackin (groin) and Philip Loughran (hip) are both on the treatment table, Armagh supporters will be happy to see forward duo Ronan Clarke and Brian Mallon make their returns from cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Meanwhile, former Armagh player Benny McArdle has been named in the Louth senior football panel for 2008.

The Dromintee clubman's father Seanie hails from Louth and played for the county in the early 1970s.

An Ulster Under-21 medal winner with Armagh in 1998, McArdle has been training with his adopted county for the past couple of weeks and will get a run-out at left corner back in next Thursday's O'Byrne Cup opener against DCU (Darver, throw-in 7.30pm).

The Louth players, who reached the third round of the All-Ireland qualifiers last season under Eamonn McEneaney, jetted out to Orlando on New Year's Day for a short training break.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd