Armagh’s Jim McCorry claims the county is being “hung, drawn, and quartered” over their decision to have a warm-weather training camp in Portugal.
The senior football squad travelled to Vilamoura from Wednesday to Sunday of last week, even though GAA rules preclude such camps outside of a 10-day period leading up to a county’s first championship game.
Armagh don’t play Fermanagh in the Ulster SFC until May 19 but their assistant manager says there was “nothing naughty at all” about their trip abroad and insists they complied with regulations.
“People were judge, jury, and executioner about us going away when we were trying to do something that the players wanted, that the county wanted.
The ban on training camps in April was brought in to increase club activity, however a number of counties are under scrutiny over their interpretation of the rule.
Armagh’s players were involved in three rounds of club league games during the month prior to heading away, but if they are found to have breached GAA regulations, the sanction is the forfeiture of a home game in next season’s Allianz League.
“There is speculation about that, but I think people are jumping the gun,” McCorry said. “We arranged under the proper guidelines to be heading away at this time.
“As regards compliance with the April rule, we complied with that in terms of all our players were released to the clubs for club games.
“They played on three Sundays in April and the fourth one, scheduled for the day we came home, was changed to Monday night — so the games could have been played then — but my understanding is that the clubs preferred to have these games deferred, and play them at a later date with the county players with them.”
When asked if the trip had been given the green light by the GAA, McCorry replied: “I don’t think you need a green light from them as long as you’re complying with regulations, which we did.
“Four weeks was our target prior to the Championship game to give us that four days of intensive work. It was all game-planning work all the ball, proper work, so that would lead us into the last three weeks heading into the championship.
Their opponents noted their trip abroad with interest, Erne assistant boss Ryan McMenamin suggesting at the Ulster SFC launch in Strabane earlier this week that the benefits of an intensive warm-weather training camp would make Armagh clear favourites to win in Brewster Park later this month.
McCorry added: “If people get motivation out of something another team does, then fill your boots with it. As far as we’re concerned, we’re concerned with ourselves and our own preparation. If others want to use whatever we’re doing to motivate them, fire away on that.”
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