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Armagh without Dyas and Shields for Wicklow game

Kevin Dyas may be on the sidelines for Armagh against Wicklow this weekend. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

ARMAGH forward Kevin Dyas and defender Mark Shields will both miss Saturday’s round one qualifier games at home to Wicklow, according to manager Kieran McGeeney.

Dyas was only fit to come off the bench in the devastating home defeat by Donegal in the Ulster SFC quarter-final, due to the recurrence of a knee problem that has troubled him most of this year, while Shields sat out the loss completely because of damaged fingers.

Boss McGeeney strongly suggested that neither would feature against Johnny Magee’s men in the Athletic Grounds this Saturday afternoon, telling the `Newry Democrat’: “Kevin is going to be under a bit of pressure and I would say he would be out for a couple of weeks – he has got a problem with his knee and that is why he didn’t play [start] the last day – it flared up again.”

As for Whitecross man Shields, `Geezer’ commented in his Sunday afternoon press conference: “I can’t see him being available at the weekend but we are hopeful he will be back shortly afterwards.”

There are doubts over several other Armagh players, notably Aaron Findon, who suffered an ankle injury against Donegal, while fellow midfielder Stephen Harold and captain Ciaran McKeever also sat out the training session at the weekend. However, all three are expected to be available for selection against the Garden County.

Harold only featured as a late substitute for the black-carded Findon against the Ulster Champions but he could be pushing for a starting slot, as may be Ciaron O’Hanlon, with the Killeavy man having also come off the bench the last time out.

Defender Michael Murray, who had enjoyed the most game-time this year before the Championship, did not line out against Donegal either due to injury but replaced Miceal McKenna before the break and will be contention for a role after Armagh’s defensive plan failed in the Ulster SFC quarter-final.

McGeeney insisted he wasn’t taking victory over Wicklow for granted after their impressive recent performance against Meath in Navan, saying to the `Newry Democrat’: “I played a lot of football against Wicklow in my time and they will hold no fear of Armagh.

“They have a big full-forward line so I am sure they will be looking to pump high ball in and get as many shots as they did against Meath. So we know what is going to come. We know we will have our fill of it”.

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