Aimee Mackin injury won’t derail All-Ireland bid insists Armagh captain McCambridge

Orchard skipper says team is ‘gutted’ for Shane O’Neill’s star after she suffered cruciate ligament injury

Aimee Mackin has scored 6-38 in the seven games this season
Former Footballer of the Year Aimee Mackin will miss the All-Ireland series with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in the recent Ulster final

ARMAGH captain Clodagh McCambridge has insisted they can still enjoy a successful summer despite losing inspirational attacker Aimee Mackin.

Former Footballer of the Year Mackin will miss the All-Ireland series with a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered in the recent Ulster final.

McCambridge reckons they could be without half-forward Louise Kenny for up to eight weeks too after injuring a shoulder against Donegal.

Both players also lined out in April’s historic National League final defeat of Kerry and Mackin in particular had been in the form of her career.

Her loss is a giant blow to Armagh’s hopes of building on their breakthrough league title with a first ever All-Ireland win.

Speaking at the launch of the TG4 All-Ireland championship, McCambridge noted that Armagh had 11 different scorers in the Ulster final.

“You talk about players having to step up now but that’s been happening week in, week out at training,” said McCambridge.

“Players are popping up and getting scores. It’s about transferring that to match day.

“Obviously Aimee is a massive source of scores for us but you could see that when she went off in the Ulster final, and that was a really tough game, we were able to see it out without her.

“You had the subs coming on in pressure moments and putting the ball over the bar. That’s great for the group, they can take a lot of positivity out of that as well.”

McCambridge admitted it’s a huge blow personally for Mackin who had also signed up to a second AFLW season with Melbourne Demons.

“Everyone is gutted for her,” said McCambridge. “You can’t be anything but gutted for her.”

Mackin’s younger sister, Armagh and Demons colleague Blaithin, suffered the same injury last winter but is on the verge of a return to action.

“Blaithin was back on the panel for the Ulster final, just maybe wasn’t ready to make an appearance on the day,” said McCambridge. “She’s back in properly for the last few weeks and flying it. Delighted for her, but then obviously it’s bittersweet seeing her sister out with an injury like that.”

Armagh are in Group One of the TG4 All-Ireland SFC and will host 2021 and 2022 winners Meath on Saturday week. They’ll travel to play Tipperary the following week with the top two in each of the four groups advancing to the quarter-finals.

“This year has been a bit surreal,” said defender McCambridge.

“We wanted to be able to show that we could compete with the top teams consistently. To be in that position then, and to win the Division One final, it was class. A brilliant boost for the county.

“Everyone was buzzing when we got that win. To be there is one thing but to win it is another.”