Three players with points to prove

Sean Armstrong (Galway)

The Salthill-Knocknacarra man was hailed as one of the ‘new terrible twins’ after running amok alongside Michael Meehan in the 2005 All-Ireland U21 final.

The duo hit a remarkable six goals between them and were compared to the original terrible twins, Sean Purcell and Frank Stockwell.

Meehan’s senior career was plagued by injury and ultimately cut short while Armstrong never quite delivered as those U21 heroics suggested.

Armstrong announced at the end of 2014, at just 29, that he’d lost his desire for the game.

He’s back now and named to start at corner-forward against Cork in Division 2 of the league at Pearse Stadium.

Jamie Clarke (Armagh)

The Crossmaglen Rangers attacker has both inspired and frustrated since hitting the inter-county scene with two goals in a 2010 qualifier win over Donegal.

Former Armagh boss and clubmate Joe Kernan claimed in 2011 that Clarke had the potential to be “the next ‘Gooch’” if he applied himself, though things haven’t turned out like that.

Clarke skipped county activity last year to travel and at 27 is a player yet to meet his vast potential.

He’s back for 2017 and fully tuned in and in a recent interview spoke of wanting to join the likes of Conor McManus, Bernard Brogan, and James O’Donoghue as a marquee forward.

As boss Kieran McGeeney said last month: “With Jamie, it’s how far he wants to go.”

Aidan Walsh (Cork)

The return of the two-time All-Star and All-Ireland medal winner to the Cork football fold is a huge boost to boss Peadar Healy.

Walsh has the potential to dominate midfield and supply a fully fit Colm O’Neill with quality ball, the sort of link-up that could fire their promotion charge.

Relegation last year was followed by a crushing Championship defeat to Tipperary so Walsh will be expected to provide vital leadership as the Rebels seek to bounce back.

He was a dual player in 2014 before playing hurling exclusively in 2015 and 2016 and it remains to be seen if his football skills are as sharp as they once were and, of course, if he has the hunger to lead Cork again.


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