Kernan keen to get campaign back on track

After the non-event that was the postponed National Football League Division 2 tie between Armagh and Dublin, All-Star defender Aaron Kernan is keen to get the Orchard campaign back on track against Meath in Navan on Saturday.

After the non-event that was the postponed National Football League Division 2 tie between Armagh and Dublin, All-Star defender Aaron Kernan is keen to get the Orchard campaign back on track against Meath in Navan on Saturday.

Speaking at the launch of the GAA's new initiative to tackle alcohol and drug abuse, Kernan said: "We're looking forward to playing Meath. It was disappointing with the Dublin game being called off but we're looking forward to getting back into it this weekend.

"It's going to be an important game for both teams, with Cavan picking up two points also last weekend. It's making the bottom of the table that bit more competitive too.

"Everyone sort of needs to make sure they pick up a few points or they'll be sucked into the bottom end of things."

With the rescheduled game against Dublin moved back, there is a little bit of breathing space for Armagh in their final league matches, and Kernan is hopeful of taking some big scalps.

"I think, in fairness, it's great preparation for ourselves to get ready for the championship. We're playing three of the top teams in the country in Meath, Dublin and Cork so it'll set us up well.

"We'll know exactly where we're standing coming into the championship. It's going to be a big test for us each weekend so it's up to us to be ready for them."

Kernan believes new Armagh boss Peter McDonnell has done a good job with the players to date, despite a reduced squad at the start of the league campaign.

"I think it was hard on Peter coming in because he had so many players at university and a lot of the Crossmaglen boys on the club scene, you had boys with injuries and a lot of boys coming back in also.

"But training has been going well these past few weeks and results have picked up a bit.

"Our last three games are going to be a big test of where we're at and where we're going for the rest of the season."

Despite the Dublin game being called off at the eleventh hour, and the Armagh players having a training session that afternoon, Kernan does not believe frustration set in among the Orchard camp over the late postponement.

"It was just very unfortunate," he said.

"There was a hail storm at about 12.30pm and it flooded the whole field basically and I suppose the field just didn't drain.

"Maybe if the game had been put back a half hour the rest of the evening would have been fine. In fairness it didn't rain for about two days after it and the pitch is well dry.

"It's just one of those things, it was unfortunate, it was probably most frustrating for the supporters who had paid in or made the long journey.

"Obviously it was a big disappointment for ourselves as well. It was a game we were looking forward to because I think it's maybe 1996 when Dublin were last down in Armagh.

"It was disappointing but it's going to go ahead again so we can look forward to it on April 13."

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